by Wenonah Hauter | Common Dreams
Nothing shows the dangerous connection between drought and fracking more than the study released by the journal Nature this week, which shows groundwater demand is exceeding supply, particularly in agricultural zones. Not only is the oil and gas industry turning our rural areas into sacrifice zones, it is also diverting water that is needed to grow food.
Drilling and fracking is not only a threat to water quality — it also uses massive amounts of water, removing much of the water used from the water cycle altogether.
Unbelievably, even during horrendous drought conditions, oil and gas companies are able to continue using our freshwater resources while communities pay for pricy technologies like water reclamation plants, as we see in Big Spring, Texas. And in Colorado, farmers are competing with the oil and gas industry, who are driving up prices at water auctions.
Fracking is not only a problem for consumers and farmers in the United States. France and Bulgaria have banned fracking thanks to the risks to water and agricultural areas. More communities, from South Africa to Australia, are fighting it as well.
On September 22, these communities will join together for a global day of action to tell decision makers around the world that fracking should be banned. We can’t sacrifice our public health, our environment and communities, and there is no replacement for our diminishing water resources.
Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on energy, food, water and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Experienced in developing policy positions and legislative strategies, she is also a skilled and accomplished organizer, having lobbied and developed grassroots field strategy and action plans.