The Stream, July 2: Fracking Uses More Water, But Natural Gas Saves It

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

May was a good month for water conservation in California. BP will pay out a record settlement for damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Far more water goes to fracking in the United States than ever used to, but the products of fracking have actually saved a significant amount of water. Iraq and the Islamic state agree on one thing; they both feel Turkey is diverting more than its share of water.

“These results are beyond encouraging; they’re heartening. They make you realize that as a whole, people in urban areas are making the sacrifices necessary to get through this unprecedented drought.” — Mark Gold of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability on California’s impressive May water conservation numbers. (Los Angeles Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

29 percent – Amount of water California conserved this May when compared to May 2013 usage figures. The April conservation number of 14 percent was more than doubled. Los Angeles Times

$US 18.7 billion – Record settlement BP will pay to the United States and five states on the Gulf of Mexico in reparation for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

Hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ in the United States uses 28 times more water now than it did 15 years ago, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The study also found that the amount of water used for fracking varies widely regionally and even between wells. International Business Times

While fracking itself is using more and more water, the fruits of fracking have resulted in some hydrologic savings. When natural gas, a major product of fracking, is used in power plants, it requires about four times less water to cool those plants than coal-burning plants. Between 2005 and 2012, annual cooling water requirements dropped from 52 trillion gallons to 33 trillion gallons. Climate Central

On the Radar

On The Radar

In Iraq, water levels in the Euphrates River have dropped by more than half this year, wreaking havoc on Iraqi crops. The first ever dam and irrigation projects on the Tigris River are scheduled for completion next year in Turkey. Iraq and Islamic State both accuse Turkey of using more than its share of water. Bloomberg

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