Droughts are scattered around and typically agriculture gets first priority. But, as RT.com reports Fracking is causing problems.
Fracking is occurring in several counties in Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, which are currently suffering a severe drought, the Associated Press reports. Although the procedure requires less water than farming or overall residential uses, it contributes to the depletion of an already-scare resource.
Some oil and gas companies manage to drain states of their water supply without spending any money, by depleting underground aquifers or rivers. But when unable to acquire the resource for free, the corporations can purchase large quantities at hefty prices.
“There is a new player for water, which is oil and gas,” Colorado farmer Kent Peppler told AP, noting that he is fallowing some of his corn fields because he can’t afford to irritate them. “And certainly they are in a position to pay a whole lot more than we are.”
Peppler, president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, said that the price of water has skyrocketed since oil companies have moved in. The Meade, Colo. Farmer said he used to pay $9 to $100 per acre-foot of water at city-held auctions, but that energy companies are now buying the excess supplies for $1,200 to $2,900 per acre-foot.
NPR has a good post on Water Wars.
Very few, but some of the smartest data center people look at the water rights for their data center. Do you?
In an arid place like the Klamath Basin, there often isn't enough water available for everyone who has a right to use it. And the person with the oldest water right gets all the water they are entitled to first.