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    Friday
    Aug102012

    China launches its Natural Gas Fracking, will they have enough water?

    National Geographic has an article on China's fracking for natural gas.

    Hills and water have shaped the story of Chongqing, in China's southwest. At the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, the Sichuan Province city became China's first inland port open to foreign commerce in 1891. In the 1930s and '40s, Chongqing served as China's wartime capital, although the mountain ranges on all four sides provided less of a buffer than hoped against Japanese air raids.

    Now a new chapter in Chongqing's history is being written, as hydraulic fracturing rigs assembled this summer in this undulating landscape to drill into one of China's first shale gas exploration sites.

    Some get excited that natural gas replaces coal for power generation, but there is a huge impact on water supplies to support fracking.

    Still, the water demand of fracking—requiring millions of gallons—presents a serious concern, says David Fridley, a staff scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy'sLawrence Berkeley lab in California. China's per capita water availability is only a quarter of the world average, according to the World Bank. And Sichuan, which produces 10 percent of China's grain, uses a great deal of its water resources for agriculture.

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