Fracking, Farming, and Water

40 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2017

See all articles by Claudia Hitaj

Claudia Hitaj

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Andrew Boslett

University of Rochester

Jeremy Weber

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs

Date Written: September 7, 2017

Abstract

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

Hitaj, Claudia and Boslett, Andrew and Weber, Jeremy, Fracking, Farming, and Water (September 7, 2017). USAEE Working Paper No. 17-322, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3041868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3041868

Claudia Hitaj

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

Andrew Boslett

University of Rochester ( email )

300 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Jeremy Weber (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

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