|Fracking water transport trucks haul gallons of water by the millions|
Although gas and oil operators in other parts of the state rely on a combination of surface and underground sources to supply the water they need for their operations, in semi-arid South Texas most of the needed water is drawn from underground aquifers, such as the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, said Robert Mace, deputy executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board.For those readers who did not attend the meeting, that landowner was former Laredo city manager Larry Dovalina. He told of workers for the oil/gas industry setting up a well not far from his and in a matter of days, managed to suck his well dry. It had been providing water for his family for over 40 years and in almost no time at all, the "frackers" had selfishly helped themselves to all of his water.
"In South Texas there's not a lot of surface water in the best of times when you
stepback from the Rio Grande," he said. The current drought is exacerbating that situation, he added.
Although the drought does not have a direct impact on water levels in the underground aquifers, the drought results in greater demand on the aquifers from users, such as farmers irrigating their parched fields, which in turn can lower water levels.
energy industryalso creates a large demand for groundwater, "on a regional scale, I don't believe that it's a concern," Mace said. "However, like politics, all hydrogeology is local," he said.
"If a gas company's water well, put in to provide water for a frack, is close to household's well it can decrease the levels of water for that household, Mace said.
Already some water users are saying that this is exactly what is happening. "We have heard reports of water-level declines," Mace said. "At a meeting in Laredo, a landowner got up and claimed that nearby gas drilling was impacting the levels of water in his water well."