Fracking Takes A Lot of Water

A Canadian firm is planning to drill 500 new wells to harvest natural gas from northern Michigan, as reported by the Bridge Magazine.

The Encana Corp.’s Westerman well in Kalkaska County recently used 8.5 million gallons of water to complete a hydraulic fracturing process. (photo from

Fracking has become "cloaked in controversy" in part because of the effect of Fracking on the water required for the process. The water is mixed with chemicals, sand and other materials, then blasted into rock formations underground, releasing natural gas. The contaminated water is then left underground, seeping into groundwater reservoirs and nearby water bodies.

In addition to contaminating water, the fracking process simply requires massive amounts of the precious liquid. Encana Corp, the firm planning 500 new wells in Michigan, is projected to require 4 billion gallons of water for their operation, as much as a small town uses over two years.

The high social and environmental costs of fracking begs us to ask ourselves--is it worth it?