News Feature | December 9, 2013

Water Scarcity May Limit Fracking In UK

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,


The fracking industry in the UK may run into trouble because it relies heavily on a scarce resource: water. 

"Fracking may be impractical in parts of the UK due to the scarcity of local water supplies, and in other areas where it will have an impact on local water resources,” the Guardian reported

The water industry has spoken up with concerns about fracking. The trade body Water UK said that this practice "may contaminate water supplies in the UK,” Blue & Green reported.

Water UK and drilling trade group UKG Onshore Operators Group recently published a memorandum of understanding to head off disagreements. 

"A key aim of the agreement is to give the public greater confidence and reassurance that everything will be done to minimize the effects [of shale gas development] on water resources and the environment," the groups said in an announcement. 

Fracking's effect on water availability is a concern in the U.S. as well. In the southwest, "three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry's outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse," the Guardian reported in an earlier article. 

Scarcity is one reason oil and gas companies are investing in technology to recycle water. 

"Drillers have found a way to get by with much less water: They recycle it using systems that not long ago they may have eyed with suspicion," the Youngstown Vindicator reported

For previous fracking coverage, including controversy around the EPA's role, visit Water Online.

Image credit: "Fracking Waste Containers," © 2013 Tar Sands Blockade, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:

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