Water Bankruptcy: Texas cities out of water but fracking continues

A town in West Texas is out of water and the TCEQ predicts that 30 more Texas towns/communities could run out of water by the end of this year. Yet the fracking mafia continues to permanently destroy water at a breakneck pace.

As I’ve said repeatedly, for years and before anyone else talked about it, this water is gone forever. Yet, the Texas Water Development Board continues to display graphs showing that water used for fracking is only a fraction of the overall water used statewide. This is a lie because:

The water used for fracking cannot be compared to other uses!

Think of fracking water as a permanent withdrawal from our overall water budget. Like your checking account, withdrawals with no deposits will cause bankruptcy.

Urban water usage, agricultural usage and even water used for golf courses is not permanently removed from our active hydrologic cycle. There are withdrawals and deposits but, as demand increases, the withdrawals could happen faster than the deposits.

Water used for fracking is permanently removed from our active hydrologic cycle. There are ONLY WITHDRAWALS and we are near bankruptcy.

From Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety
“Disposing of used water through properly operated and maintained injection well systems, into deep rock formations, essentially removes that water from the active hydrologic cycle. Conceivably, this water could return to the active hydrologic cycle at some very distant point in the future (speaking in geologic terms, well beyond human time frames).
Dr. Paul F. Hudak
University of North Texas

To accurately portray the water used for fracking, the Texas Water Development Board should develop some modeling where fracking water is weighted differently. But all that will show is what we already know: fracking has to stop.



About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Anymous says

    There are absolutely NO LIMITS on the use of water by O&G that I know of. They are free at the trough.

  2. David says

    I’m not sure which is worse, not having any water and having to buy it or having water that may or may not be contaminated with the frackers secret sauce.

  3. Anon1 says

    Most of our water (in Texas) comes from rainfall from evaporation over the Gulf of Mexico (salt water). What does not get absorbed into the ground will flow into reservoirs and rivers and eventually return to the ocean. Fracking uses around 1% of total water usage. Irrigation for farming is far more wasteful.

    Are you suggesting that fracking will drain the oceans?

  4. David says

    The google says only 40% of Texas water comes from surface reservoirs. The water we use comes from two main sources: groundwater and surface water. Groundwater is water percolating
    below the surface of the earth. Surface water is generally
    that found in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and bays. It is
    defined by the Texas Water Code as:
    “the ordinary flow, underflow, and tides of every flowing
    river, natural stream and lake and of every bay or arm of
    the Gulf of Mexico, and the storm water, floodwater and
    rainwater of every river, natural stream, canyon, ravine,
    depression and watershed in the state.”
    Of all the water we use in Texas, about 60 percent is
    groundwater; the other 40 percent is surface water.

    Groundwater is also an important water source for several
    cities. For example, Amarillo, Bryan-College Station, El Paso,
    Lubbock, Houston and San Antonio use groundwater to supply water for homes, businesses and industry.
    Statewide, groundwater comes from some 32 Texas
    aquifers. According to the Texas Water Development Board
    (TWDB), nine aquifers supply about 97 percent of the
    groundwater we use.

  5. Anymous says

    It’s not just what water comes from where–it’s more about how our drinking water aquifers are being damaged and contaminated by the fracking process–especially where & when a “vertical fracture” occurs in mother earth, mostly at the deeper formations that are now being drilled!

  6. Texas Widow says

    “Irrigation for farming is far more wasteful”.

    Huh? We need crops for food … to eat … to survive. Do you know of food that can grow without water? Please share!

    Last month, my town had signs everywhere about water restrictions — it doesn’t apply to drilling, of course. They have free rein to use it all up, even though there is technology for other methods. Take our water, sell the gas to other countries. Line the pockets of a few, the rest of us be damned. That’s the American way!