Fracking, Farming, and Water
40 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 7, 2017
Several studies note the significant quantity of water used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells. For nine western states in 2013, water use in fracking represented just 0.8 percent of agricultural water use for irrigation. Locally, fracking used more water than farming only in counties with below-median irrigated acreage. In parts of Texas and North Dakota, each acrefoot of water used in fracking displaced 0.6 to 1.4 acre-feet from farming, indicating the flow of water from lower to higher-valued uses. The greatest displacement occurred in North Dakota, which allowed farmers to forego irrigating and sell water to energy firms.
Keywords: Agriculture, Shale, Oil and Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, Irrigation, Water Policy
JEL Classification: Q1, Q3, Q4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation