One large concern regarding fracking is the enormous amount of water required to carry out the process. Typically 90% of the liquid injected into the well is water. Each well can use up to 144 million gallons of water. An important fact to emphasize is that, on average, only 5% of the water originally injected into the well is reused. Why should we care about this? Consider a typical family of four in Pennsylvania. They will use approximately 300 gallons of water a day. An average well requires around 5.6 million gallons of water per frack. Therefore, the water used in just one frack would provide that household with water for 51 years. The magnitude of the volume of water used during fracking is further emphasized in the info graphic below:
The amount of water used within fracking can also have an influence on the quality of water. This can happen when more ground water is removed than can be replenished. This may allow contaminants to mobilize and additionally allow for lower quality water to move in. This is especially important since this is a large source of our drinking water. The extensive amount of fracking occurring within the Marcellus region may eventually have an impact on the resident’s water supply and the quality of the water there.