How much water does fracking use?

Water is a precious natural resource in Colorado and throughout the Rockies. So when Coloradans talk about fracking with family, friends and neighbors, it’s no surprise when they ask, “How much water does fracking use?”

It’s a great question, and one that deserves a comprehensive answer. Lucky for all of us, the Colorado Division of Water Resources, the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has done the research and released a detailed joint report on hydraulic fracturing and water use in Colorado.

Check out the report for yourself, and you’ll learn what the experts already know: fracking accounts for less than 0.1% of total water usage in Colorado.

Less than one-tenth of one percent of the water used in Colorado goes toward fracking. As you can imagine, a lot of other industrial sectors use much more. In fact, according to Colorado State University, agriculture accounts for over 85% of our state’s water use. Bottom line, fracking’s water impact in Colorado is a drop in the bucket.

The amount of water currently used for hydraulic fracturing in Colorado is a small portion of the total amount of water used. In 2010, it reflected slightly less than one-tenth of one percent of the total water used.

—Colorado Division of Water Resources, the Colorado Water Conservation Board,
and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Colorado.gov)

And today, more and more oil and natural gas producers in Colorado are looking for ways to improve their recycling techniques for use in new wells. Recycling of flowback water reduces demand for fresh water and reduces the need for disposal of wastewater.

 

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