Water used for oil and gas drilling tops estimates, says study
Written byBRUCE FINLEY, Denver Post
Colorado's oil and gas drilling consumes enough water to sustain 79,000 households a year — enough for a medium-sized city and more than state planners have projected, a new study says.
The analysis, presented Wednesday by the Boulder-based consultancy Western Resource Advocates, determined that the amount of water pumped into the ground for drilling wells and for hydraulic fracturing to coax out oil and gas is between 22,100 and 39,500 acre-feet each year. That's enough for up to 296,100 people — or to meet most needs in Douglas County.
State regulators have estimated that fracking requires 13,900 to 16,100 acre-feet a year. State officials and industry advocates compare this with total water consumed in Colorado and emphasize it is less than 1 percent — due to the huge amount used to produce food. But drilling's share is growing rapidly and now exceeds water diverted for ski area snowmaking.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE