The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing has stirred concerns around Texas, especially as the drought wears on. Aware that they are under the spotlight, drillers are testing out recycling and other water-saving techniques.Full Story
Water for Fracking is a multi-part series exploring the rising use of water for hydraulic fracturing in Texas. It examines the concerns of rural counties at the center of the drilling boom, and looks at the measures oil and gas companies are taking to reduce water use, including recycling; using more brackish water; and even experimenting with water-free fracking. The series also examines the state's rapidly increasing reliance on disposal wells, where wastewater from fracking operations gets buried.
Can groundwater authorities in Texas require oil and gas drillers to obtain permits for the water they use in hydraulic fracturing? No one knows for sure, thanks to ambiguities in the water code.Full Story
In Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, natural gas companies recycle water as a matter of course. But recycling is only getting started in the Texas oilfields because using freshwater for hydraulic fracturing is cheap.Full Story
Most fracking operations use several million gallons of water. But with water increasingly scarce and costly around Texas, a few companies have begun using alternative liquids, such as propane. Experts say the technology still has far to go.Full Story
In drilling regions like the Permian Basin, where the water needs of fracking have run up against a historic drought, drillers are increasingly turning to brackish groundwater previously thought too expensive to use.Full Story
As the water-intensive practice of fracking continues to spread, the amount of wastewater being buried in disposal wells around Texas has skyrocketed. But the wells bring concerns about truck traffic and the possibility of groundwater contamination.Full Story