Monday, June 17, 2013

Will We Have To Go Back To Drinking Wine Instead of Water Because Of Corporate Pollution?


If you were listening to NPR Saturday, you may have heard their report about water rights in the U.S. "Oil was probably the fluid of last century where there was a lot of turmoil, and I think water is the fluid of this century," explained Michael Walsh, a major general with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. We assume it's our right in America to have water. And yet, water is a resource. It's not always where we need it, or there when we need it.

Rivers don't follow political boundaries-- they flow through states and over international borders. And there are endless demands for water: for agriculture, drinking, plumbing, manufacturing, to name just a few. And then there's the ecosystem that depends on water getting downstream.

So what are our legal rights when it comes to water? And who decides?
The NPR report talks about the role of Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, municipalities, ranchers, fishermen and American Indian tribes. But they never got around to what trumps all of them: Corporate America, where the bottom line is... the bottom line. Greed and avarice trumps all, especially when you're talking about "the fluid of last century." Tom Kenworthy made the case over the weekend that fracking is already straining U.S. water supplies.
As the level of hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells in the United States has intensified in recent years, much of the mounting public concern has centered on fears that underground water supplies could be contaminated with the toxic chemicals used in the well-stimulation technique that cracks rock formations and releases trapped oil and gas. But in some parts of the country, worries are also growing about fracking’s effect on water supply, as the water-intensive process stirs competition for the resources already stretched thin by drought or other factors.

Every fracking job requires 2 million to 4 million gallons of water, according to the Groundwater Protection Council. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has estimated that the 35,000 oil and gas wells used for fracking consume between 70 billion and 140 billion gallons of water each year. That’s about equal, EPA says, to the water use in 40 to 80 cities with populations of 50,000 people, or one to two cities with a population of 2.5 million each.

Some of the most intensive oil and gas development in the nation is occurring in regions where water is already at a premium. A paper published last month by Ceres, a nonprofit that works on sustainability issues, looked at 25,000 shale oil and shale gas wells in operation and monitored by an industry-tied reporting website called FracFocus.

Ceres found that 47 percent of these wells were in areas “with high or extremely high water stress” because of large withdrawals for use by industry, agriculture, and municipalities. In Colorado, for example, 92 percent of the wells were in extremely high water-stress areas, and in Texas more than half were in high or extremely high water-stress areas.

“Given projected sharp increases in production in the coming years and the potentially intense nature of local water demands, competition and conflicts over water should be a growing concern for companies, policymakers and investors,” the Ceres report concluded. It goes on to say that:
Prolonged drought conditions in many parts of Texas and Colorado last summer created increased competition and conflict between farmers, communities and energy developers, which is only likely to continue. … Even in wetter regions of the northeast United States, dozens of water permits granted to operators had to be withdrawn last summer due to low levels in environmentally vulnerable headwater streams.
Another recent study by the University of Texas looked at past and projected water use for fracking in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, and Haynesville shale plays in Texas, and found that fracking in 2011 was using more than twice as much water in the state as it was three years earlier. In Dimmit County, home to the Eagle Ford shale development in South Texas, fracking accounted for nearly a quarter of overall water consumption in 2011 and is expected to grow to a third in a few years, according to the study.

Moreover, an April report by the Western Organization of Resource Councils found that fracking is using 7 billion gallons of water a year in four western states: Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and North Dakota. “Fracking’s growing demand for water can threaten availability of water for agriculture and western rural communities,” said Bob Leresche, a Wyoming resident and board member of the group.

...As the Ceres report concludes:
Shale energy development highlights the fact that our water resources were already vulnerable before additional demands were introduced. Regulators, water managers and ultimately all significant economic players who rely on abundant supplies of water must double-down their efforts to better manage this limited and most precious resource.
Worse news: because of the role of money in our politcal system-- i.e., systemic bribery-- those charged with protecting our clean drinking watre supplies (something that basic) have given a green light to Big Oil and Gas to ignore previous clean water regulations and frack away to their hearts' content. I thought this might be a good time to mention the dozen most corrupt Members of Congress in terms of Big Oil shillery. These are the Oil and Gas whores still in Congress who have made sure our watre would be poisoned-- with the amounts they have taken from Big Oil in blatant, legalistic bribes:
John McCain (R-AZ)- $3,043,404
John Cornyn (R-TX)- $1,990,350
Joe Barton (R-TX)- $1,734,255
Steve Pearce (R-NM)- $1,479,701
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)- $1,457,696
Miss McConnell (R-KY)- $1,348,311
Don Young (R-AK)- $1,193,613
David Vitter (R-LA)- $1,144,385
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)- $1,086,084
Mike Conaway (R-TX)- $942,118
Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $868,346
Lord Charles Boustany (R-LA)- $803,655

Labels: , , ,


At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't make wine without water!or life, either!

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Tod - Water well said...

Like all things that happen nowadays...this issue will be addressed when it's too late and we start suffering unfortunately.


Post a Comment

<< Home