Water Scarcity Rearing Its Ugly Head

Source: Flickr/TimJKeegan.

Water scarcity is forcing big shifts in behavior for farmers in Southwest, but lack of water could also have a profound effect on the America's oil and natural gas boom. A recent report from Ceres estimates that around 47% hydraulically fractured wells in the U.S. were located in high water stress areas, or areas where 80% of available surface water is already needed for agriculture, municipal, or industrial use. Securing water for unconventional drilling already can cost up to 10% of total well costs and prices continue to climb. 

The oil and gas industry needs to make choices. Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN  )  handles rising costs by recycling waste-water internally, while service providers are starting to specialize in taking care of water recycling issues for the industry.

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