Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Mar 12, 2012

Selling Water for Fracking

According to a report, the town of Windsor, Colo., has sold more than 8.4 million gal of municipal water for use in hydraulic fracturing for close to $17,000 over the last four months.

Because the town has not previously sold any water to the oil and gas industry, town officials have not yet considered the long-term implications of this practice.

Windsor is not alone. In 2011, Fort Lupton also sold about 154 million gal of municipal water to the oil and gas industry for more than $677,000. The city is using the money to pay down its $20-million debt on a water treatment plant, the report stated.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Colorado Water Conservation Board recently estimated that fracking consumes 0.08% of the state’s water supply.

Selling excess municipal water to agriculture and a variety of industries is not a new practice. However, with fracking already stirring plenty of debates, some fear that as this practice gains momentum, it could consume more water than some states can spare.

To share your opinion on this topic, e-mail WWD at [email protected].