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Letter: Questioning the use of water in fracking during a potential drought

Fracking takes good, usable water permanently out of the system when farmers in particular are facing possibility of critical shortage, says letter writer

Re: Sundre's water conservation bylaw updated as drought looms and Mountain View County investigating fracking water line policy for ditches

This second article included that two fracking companies “used a combined total of 4.2 billion gallons of water for fracking in 2022.” This fracking uses surface water or fresh groundwater. It has been used in more than 180,000 wells in Alberta since the 1950s.

Because water for fracking is combined commonly with chemicals such as polycyclamide, hydrochloric acid and a biocide. “The water used in the process is not recovered.” Unlike almost any other use, fracking water is taken permanently out of the normal water cycle: it doesn’t return to be used for drinking, irrigation, bathing, laundry etc.

I accept it when we are told that there is a looming water shortage. However, it doesn’t seem that we currently have a shortage of the oil and gas that fracking produces. Therefore, in our current circumstance it seems that fracking is likely not the best use for our water.

Last year the Oldman Reservoir dropped so low that water had to be trucked into the district of Pincher Creek. It cost roughly $7,500 per day. With the forecast of drought again this summer.

Alberta Environment Minister Rebecca Schultz has said districts are raising the possibility of “interbasin diversion.” This action is not normally even permitted under the Water Act and has many problems of its own.

We should not be giving priority to fracking which since the 50s continually takes billions of gallons of good, usable water permanently out of the system, when people in general and farmers in particular are facing the possibility of critical shortages.

New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec have banned fracking.

Ross Dabrusin,


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