Let me see if I can clearly outline the problems Californian’s face over water. We’ve established that California is a relatively dry state to begin with. Damming and holding water in reservoirs has been the answer, which destroyed fishing, and negatively affected the animals and plants that depended on river water. It also negatively affected downstream users where farmers planted crops and suddenly found salt water backing upstream as less fresh water flowed to the ocean.
Under governor Pat Brown, (Governor Jerry Brown’s father) a massive canal was built that took water from the north to benefit the south. And, in the 1800’s San Francisco sealed their right to water by building Hetch Hetchy which drained Lake Mead. I think it is safe to say that anytime man tries to overcome nature, they create more problems.
The fixes were moving along quite well. The reservoirs were full, the fish once again migrating upstream. The Water Control Board is mandated by federal law to keep enough water in rivers to allow salmon to migrate and reproduce. Salmon are not only food for people, eagles and animals, fish are part of the tourist economy as sports fishermen come to the mountains for fishing derbies and recreation.
The Board allowed the spring pulse, water poured out of Mellones Reservoir for the salmon, but the officials controlling (man made) Lake Tulloch, below Mellones, refused to allow the water through. They are in defiance of the law. How can they get away with such maneuvers?
Downstream San Joaquin Co. secured rights to a defined amount of acre feet of water from Mellones when it was full and water seemed ever plentiful. Now, regardless of how little there is to share, they insist they shall have it and it better be delivered or they will sue.
Representative Tom McClintock and Frank Bigelow convinced the water board to relax the flows. But downstream, that allows more salt intrusion which affects farmers in the delta. The water control board maintains they have enough water for a year with conservation measures, let’s not panic. Not a word from anyone about the millions of gallons used by frackers, nor funding a salt water conversion plant.
Unfortunately you can’t manufacture water.
Or can you manufacture water? According to the fracking industry you can. They like to use euphemisms like “stimulating well production” when they inject water and chemicals deep into the ground. And this statement came from Don Drysdale’s email:
“Not all of the water used for hydraulic fracturing is freshwater. Some portion is from produced water that is cleaned. Produced water comes to the surface from oil and gas operations but is not suitable for drinking or agricultural use.”
I had never heard of “produced” water and I began to wonder where all this dirty water is located and how they have access to it and did they dirty the water to begin with? And, how was it cleaned?
Guess what? Produced water is waste water from fracking with no good disposal options. This “produced” water contains fracking chemicals, dissolved solids and radioactive material from underground. Conventional waste water treatment plants are not equipped to deal with this waste and efforts to treat it pose problems for communities downstream. Injecting it back into the ground is what has triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Where are the California wells located? In Southern California along the San Andreas fault. Now that IS scary.
They claim they use “relatively little water”. What exactly is relatively little water?
From Don Drysdale’s email: “On the basis of reporting for 2014 the total amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing was 214 acre-feet. This equates to approximately 100,000 gallons on average per stimulated well” How many wells? There are 5 in Southern California.
Okay that doesn’t sound like much, but that is fresh water. But in the same email, Drysdale’s figures say:
“1 Acre-foot of water = 325, 851 gallons of water” but 214 acre feet equals 100,000 gallons? Now which one of his figures is right?
A 2011 study sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources estimates that the average annual water use by a household is .4 acre-feet (131,400 gallons annually, 360 gallons per day.) That is 4 tenths of an acre foot?
So which figure is right? And how many wells?
And how much produced water are we talking about?
“Total produced water from oil and gas production: 3 billion barrels or 387,000 acre-feet.
Of that, two-thirds is put back into the aquifers from which it came or is used for “enhanced oil recovery” (water flood, steam flood, cyclic steam.)”
The oil and gas industry is rushing to push fracking at an amazing pace throughout the United States. Methane creates heat and is leak prone stored in concrete tanks. The crude oil is expected to net six million barrels a day. The process is putting our drinking water in peril across the United States. It is typical of the oil industry to make a mess and then let we taxpayers pay to clean it up. For instance, the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico has still not met standards for clean up. With fracking, it may not be cleanable. It is a disaster in the making.
I’m for banning fracking nation wide. In California here are the names and addresses of the people who need to hear from you if you agree:
Tom McClintock, 8700 Auburn-Folsom Rd. Ste 100, Granite Bay, CA, 95746. Call 916-786-5560. In Washington, 202-225-2511.
Barbara Boxer, 2500 Tulare St. Ste 5290, Fresno, CA, 93721. In Washington, 202-224-3553
Dianne Fieinstein, 2500 Tulare St.,Ste 4290, Fresno, CA. 93721. In Washington, 202-224-3841.
Other communities can find their representative’s and city councils names in the front of their phone book. Do it.
Local measures against fracking are beginning to make an impact across America. There are 41 measures in the connected states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. 18 in New York, 4 in West Virginia, 10 in Virginia, 35 in North Carolina, 2 in Florida, 37 in Ohio, 1 in Indiana, 7 in Illinois, 21 in Michigan, 5 in Wisconsin, 1 in Iowa, 2 in Minnesota, 1 in North Dakota, 4 in Texas, 3 in New Mexico, 10 in Colorado, 1 in Wyoming, 23 in Northern California, and 1 in Hawaii.