Monday, March 11, 2013

Texas Tribune: Fracking uses up to 25 % of Carrizo Springs water

"Water, water everywhere nor but a drop to drink."

A recent article from the Texas Trbibune points to the fact that some parts of Texas are using a very substantial percentage of their water towards fracking. These include some of the driest area in the drought-stricken Lone Star State.  While fracking proponents like to mention that fracking uses up only 1 percent of Texas water statewide, the truth is that areas such as Dimmit county (Carrizo Springs) are already using about 25 per cent of their water for fracking the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpted from the Texas Tribune

Increasingly, the spotlight is also on water supply problems. Some of the most oil-rich parts of Texas, including the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin, are also some of the state’s driest areas. Carrizo Springs, in the heart of the fast-developing Eagle Ford, averages 21 inches of rainfall a year.
In 2011, Texas used a greater number of barrels of water for oil and natural gas fracking (about 632 million) than the number of barrels of oil it produced (about 441 million), according to figures from the Texas Water Development Board and the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator.
The UT study, published in January, found that the amount of water used statewide for fracking more than doubled between 2008 and 2011. The amount is expected to increase before leveling off in the 2020s. The study’s lead author, Jean-Philippe Nicot of the University of Texas, has calculated that in 2011, nearly a quarter of the water used in Dimmit County went toward fracking. He projects that the figure will rise to about a third in a few years.


  1. Max, thank you for this post! Recently the Railroad Commission amended a rule which states that you can only drill 1 well per 160 acres. The amendment now allows 3 wells per 160 acres, which means 3x more water. Based on this very unwise and stupid decision from a do nothing Railroad Commission you can certainly expect lower water tables from all the sands and aquifers that supply water to municipalities in the Eagle Ford Shale. The 632 million barrels used in 2011 could easily top 1.5 BILLION barrels in 2013. Keep in mind 1 barrel equals 42 gallons. I'm sorry but my pocket calculator cannot compute the amount to gallons, but I think you get the picture. There is a conference being held here in Laredo regarding water conservation sometime around the 3rd week in March, it will be interesting what this dog and pony show will accomplish if anything, but one can hope!

  2. BT
    Thanks for the comment and info. If you get any more details on when and where D&P show will be held, let us know. Thanks again