Water for fracking: How much does the oil/gas industry use?

Richard Stapler, Deputy Secretary for Communications of the California Natural Resources Agency, claimed that only 8 acre feet of water is used every year for hydraulic fracturing in California, in an apparent attempt to minimize the amount of water employed for fracking. He cited information from the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources as the justification for his figure. Yet in a footnote, Stapler states, “For reference, you could multiply the average of 87,375 gallons with every injection well in the state (about 25,000) and still come up with a relatively small amount of water — 6,721 acre feet, or water for about 27,000 average families for a year.”

Stapler hasn’t yet responded to an email inquiry over the enormous discrepancy in the water he claims is used for fracking per year– 8 acre feet of water in one section of his article and 6,721 acre feet in another.

Lynn Krug from the Stop Fracking California, and other fracking opponents, say the water used by companies to extract natural gas and oil through fracking in California is much greater than Stapler or the oil industry claim it is.

“Each individual drilling of a well can use 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 gallons of water,” she said. “Each platform can have multiple drilled ‘wells’ in a 4 mile diameter, a 2 mile radius from the well platform. Each well can be fracked multiple times.” - Lynn Krug

Drilling slurry at hydro-fracking site, Dimock, Pennsylvania