When it comes to fracking, it certainly gets a lot of the attention, but in fact it’s the hydro part of that is particularly troublesome. Environmentalists argue that hydrofracking simply uses too much water. Between 4 and 6 million gallons of water is used every time a gas or oil well is fracked, and with the energy boom booming, that can add up to a lot of water. However, I have a new angle on this.
I argue that fracking for natural gas actually saves water by making it easier for utilities to switch from thirsty coal plants to more efficient natural gas. If you look at the data, you can see that the water saved by switching from coal to natural gas is 50 times greater than the amount of water used in fracking to extract the shale gas in the first place.