Article courtesy of Californians Against Fracking | August 17, 2014 | San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center | Shared as educational material
LOS ANGELES – At City Hall on August 13, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, Los Angeles residents and California climate and water experts called on Big Oil to stop wasting California water. During the worst drought in the state’s recent history, the oil and gas industry is permanently destroying millions of gallons of water and drilling deeper into the earth, threatening dwindling groundwater supplies by using fracking and other water-intensive extraction processes.
While the water used by homeowners, agriculture and parks reenters the water cycle, the water used in fracking and other extreme extraction techniques is permanently polluted with carcinogenic chemicals and is lost forever.
“No other water user completely removes millions of gallons of water from the water cycle like the oil industry does,” said Tatiana Gaur, staff attorney at LA Waterkeeper. “Unconventional oil and gas extraction methods, such as fracking and acidizing, produce contaminated water which cannot be used again, and the water and chemicals that remain in the ground could pollute our aquifers. In Southern California, we rely on groundwater for much of our drinking water, and that has only become more necessary during the drought. The amount of water the oil industry is wasting and poisoning each day should be a wake-up call for anyone who cares about keeping our water clean, safe and abundant now and in the future.”
“My landlord has let our lawn go brown to save water in this historic drought and Angelenos are being asked to save,” said Hector Huezo, resident of Boyle Heights. “It’s disheartening that Big Oil companies are using thousands and thousands of gallons every day right in my backyard.”
Last month, California officials ordered an emergency shutdown of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites out of concerns that companies are pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers. On July 31, the state shut down another well.
The federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of water contamination associated oil injectionwells and wastewater disposal sites. The GAO notes that, “every day in the United States, at least 2 billion gallons of fluids are injected into the over 172,000 wells to enhance oil and gas production.”