In states like California, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, it’s often brought up how dry they are. In fact, we previously asked whether or not the droughts in some of these areas would be the end to hydraulic fracturing as we know it because water is the main component used in order to release natural gas from shale deep below the Earth’s surface. With the need for one million gallons of water per each fracture, the amount of water needed can often seem like a lot. While the number one million seems like a lot of just about anything, it’s important to put this number in perspective in terms of water usage in the United States.
What does one million gallons look like?
First, let’s think about how much one million gallons of water actually is. It takes one million gallons of water to fill up an olympic-sized swimming pool twice, or you can think of one million gallons of water as the amount of water that will pass by you when you stand next to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon on a medium flow day for less than 10 seconds. In fact, the largest above ground storage tank offered by Waste Water Solutions for fracking wastewater can hold over two million gallons, or more precisely, 9,307 meters cubed. But let’s actually put that into perspective.
How does water usage for hydraulic fracturing compare to water usage in other industries?
Each day over 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States for everything from showers to watering crops. Remember that is the amount of water used each day. Water used for hydraulic fracturing is less than one percent of national water usage in industrial applications, which means that it’s even less compared to all applications, according to work done at Duke University. Half of all the water that is used each day in the United States goes directly towards thermoelectric power generation. Just to manufacture a single car takes 40,000 gallons of water.
Many activists worry about the impact that fracking has on water supplies. While it may cause some strain in drought-stricken areas, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the plethora of other uses that American’s have for water.
Fracking wastewater can be reused and it can be sent to specialized treatment and management facilities, such as those run by Well Water Solutions. Let WWS provide you with above ground storage tanks and water management for your fracking operation. Contact us for more information.