Droughts made headlines throughout 2012 due to their harmful affects on our nation's food supply, but privation wasn't the only drag on our fresh water sources. A recent study shows that oil and natural gas fracking has placed great stress on available fresh water in areas around the country by taking up measurable amounts of the resource. In some instances in Texas, fracking staked its claim to 20% of total water usage in the regions surrounding production areas. 

Reading that astonishing fact clears up any doubt as to why Texas now mandates the recycling of water used in the fracking process. If we plan on becoming more energy independent through increased production of domestic oil and natural gas, then something will most likely be done at the federal level as well. Which companies stand to benefit? Check out Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman's video below.

Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Clean Harbors and Heckmann and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $4 Calls on Heckmann and Short Jan 2014 $3 Puts on Heckmann. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.