More than half of the U.S. oil and gas wells drilled using fracking technology since 2011 have been in drought-stricken areas.
The water-intensive process used to extract oil and gas from shale underground — known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking — has required almost 100 billion gallons of water to drill more than 39,000 oil and shale gas wells in the U.S. since 2011, says Ceres, a green investment group.
More than half of those wells — 55% — were in drought-stricken areas, and nearly half were in regions under high or extremely high water stress, such as Texas, the report says.
To be in extremely high water stress means more than 80% of the area's available surface and ground water is already allocated for city, agriculture or industrial use. High stress means 40% to 80% of the water is already allocated, Ceres says.
Shale development is also occurring rapidly in areas where groundwater is already being depleted by other uses...