Water used in oil production can be reused to water crops with no adverse effects, according to research published Monday by California government officials.
Officials in the state’s Cawelo Water District (Cawelo) concurred with toxicologists that the recycled water was safe for agricultural use. Researchers found no difference in crops which were irrigated with recycled water extracted during the oil production process,and those irrigated from other sources. This confirmed previous analyses that recycled water is safe for crops.
So far, the program has provided 10 billion gallons of safe water to California farmers each year, despite a major drought in that state.
“Ongoing testing continues to show that there is no difference in crops irrigated with oilfield-produced water filtered and treated by Cawelo and those irrigated by other sources of water,” Dave Quast, California director of the pro-industry group Energy In Depth, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is something people concerned with the environment and the safety of our food supply should celebrate, as it is the very definition of a win-win-win: for California’s agriculture industry, for consumers and for the environment. This is especially true during the current severe drought.”
Environmental activists have vehemently opposed experimental irrigation of crops with recycled water. Green groups like Food and Water Watch, Californians Against Fracking and the Center for Biological Diversity have all attempted to stop the research.
“Activists who oppose this program are showing their true colors; they continue to attempt to scare the public about a program that they know scientific analysis consistently shows is safe, which indicates that their agenda is not science or safety,” Quast continued. “That they would oppose a program that provides 10 billion gallons of beneficial water to a critical industry that feeds not only California but the whole country shows how short sighted their anti-energy extremism really is.”
Up to 96 percent of wastewater from fracking is from naturally occurring salts and brines, not artificial fracking fluids, a new study published by Duke University concluded.
Duke researchers found that between 92 and 96 percent of wastewater coming out of fracking wells was comprised of naturally occurring brines and salts, which were extracted along with the gas and oil. Only about 4 to 8 percent of the wastewater included man-made chemicals.
“From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” according to a five-year study on the impacts of fracking published by the EPA in June 2015.
Environmentalists responded to these studies, saying, “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.”
Fracking earthquake myths from environmentalists frequently confuse fracking with wastewater disposal. These myths are so widespread that the USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them. Environmental groups frequently blame fracking for just about everything, including droughts, drinking water contamination, flaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts.
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