There is a new way to look at long-term water use: PEAK WATER
…in some regions we are well past the point of peak ecological water – where the environmental damage of human use of water exceeds the benefits of that water use.
- Peak renewable water: where flow constraints limit total water availability over time.
- Peak nonrenewable water: where production rates substantially exceed natural recharge rates or where overpumping or contamination leads to a peak production followed by a decline (similar to peak oil curves)
- Peak ecological water: the point beyond which the total costs of ecological disruptions and damages exceed the total value provided by human use of that water.
There is no question that the water used for hydraulic fracturing is not sustainable. That water is permanently removed from our active hydrological cycle and no longer available for human, animal or agricultural use. It’s just plain reckless.
I have already been contacted by one Eagle Ford Shale resident who has flammable water. While Eagle Ford Shale residents have not yet see the health impacts from gas extraction–they will–some people in the Eagle Ford Shale area are already seeing their water tables drop and even industry admits that it will get much worse.
Gas fracking may already be lowering water tables in South Texas
“They already know they’re gonna run this area out of water; there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” said Braudaway, whose livelihood still depends on oilfield services.
It’s hard to counter the hype in the Eagle Ford right now because there is some Big Money floating around. But soon when the children start getting sick and the air and water goes bad, that money won’t mean much and the people there will learn the worth of water. It won’t be long until the complaints of water contamination from Eagle Ford Shale residents start rolling in. When they have garden hoses that shoot fire like flamethrowers, then they will learn the worth of water.
When the well is dry we learn the worth of water.