Despite claims from anti-fracking activists that hydraulic fracturing contaminates ground water, a new study by the University of Texas found the process actually saves water and prevents droughts.
“The bottom line is that hydraulic fracturing, by boosting natural gas production and moving the state from water-intensive coal technologies, makes our electric power system more drought-resilient,” Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology, said.
For every gallon of water used by fracking, Texas saved 33 gallons by using that water to produce electricity from natural gas instead of coal.
Forty-five percent of Texas' energy comes from natural gas now, while coal has dropped to 35 percent. The remaining 20 percent comes from wind and nuclear.
By switching to natural gas from coal, droughts will be less common in Texas as well, according to the study.
However, the study also contends that water in fracking-centered areas is constrained, so while the state as a whole will benefit, towns close to fracking may not see those benefits.