Fracked Water for Groundwater Recharging?

Water Injection Fracking

4-6 MILLION GALLONS of water are used every time a well is fracked.
10 to 15 barrels of water are said to be “produced” for every barrel of oil.

What to do with all that fracked water? The wastewater contains the toxic and hazardous chemicals used in fracking fluid and also has contaminants sucked up from deep within the earth, most notably heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, salty brine and radioactive materials.

The FINAL REPORT-BENEFICIAL REUSE OF SAN ARDO PRODUCED WATER was jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory; Aera Energy LLC, one of CA largest oil & gas producers; and Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, who provide engineering and scientific solutions for water, environmental, energy projects to government agencies and private utilities, with large remediation projects in their portfolio.

Here’s how they describe what's happening in South County:

"Due to high water demands from population growth and agriculture groundwater, extraction exceeds the sustainable yield of this basin. The high dependence on groundwater has resulted in a long-term average overdraft of about 19,000 acre-foot per year (AFY) in the groundwater basin. The overdraft conditions have resulted in seawater intrusion for about 6 miles in the northern Salinas valley, where the river empties into the Pacific Ocean.”

The report says that all the proposed options: agricultural use near the oilfield; use by Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) for the Salinas Valley Water Project or Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project; industrial or power plant use in King City; and use for wetlands creation in the Salinas Basin, were found to have “major obstacles that prevent full-scale implementation.”

So we are left with the option to “recharge groundwater” with fracked water. We know that cleaning up the water PROPERLY costs more than the value of the produced oil. Do we want to drink this stuff?

As Professor Tim Krantz related at PMC’s Frack Forum on Dec.11, his students learn that real job security is in cleaning up industrial disasters. Let's work now to Protect Monterey County.

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