From FoxNews.com (Kelly David Burke):
…according to Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken. “Yet we’re [Fort Collins] one of the wetter areas of the West. Other areas may only be looking at 6 to 10 inches of precipitation a year.”
“From a Western perspective the rain that falls on your head barely waters anything. The snow that falls most winters, somewhat generously, in the mountains and then melts during the spring and summer is the water supply for most agricultural and municipal uses.”[...]
Kathleen Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance believes fears about fracking using too much water are overblown. She points to a recent study by the Colorado Division of Water Resources that showed that in 2010, 85 percent of the water used in Colorado went to agriculture, 7.4 percent to municipalities and less than 1 percent to hydraulic fracturing. “It’s certainly an issue that we take very seriously,” Sgamma says. “But when you consider the jobs and the economic impact that you get from oil and gas and you compare that to the water usage, it’s a pretty small usage for that economic impact.”[...]
“There are seven to nine layers of steel and cement between the well bore and any underground aquifer. There are several layers of protection to make sure that (underground) water cannot go into the well, and oil or gas cannot get into the aquifer.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Interior is moving ahead with disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing, according to Gus Jarvis writing for The Telluride Watch. From the article:
While there are 35 states with some form of fracking regulations (Colorado included), there is currently no federal requirement for oil and gas companies to disclose chemicals on federal lands where approximately 90 percent of natural gas wells are drilled. Current Bureau of Land Management regulations governing fracking are more than 30 years old and are not written to address modern fracking practices.
The proposed rule, according to information provided by the Department of Interior, seeks to maximize flexibility, minimize duplication and complement ongoing efforts in some states to regulate fracturing activities by providing a consistent standard across all federal and Indian lands, and make reported information easily accessible to the public through the existing program known as FracFocus.
Besides requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, the draft rule contains two additional measures to improve assurances on well-bore integrity – to verify that fluids used in wells during fracking operations are not escaping – and to confirm that oil and gas companies have a water management plan in place for handling fracking fluids that flow back to the surface.
According to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the proposed rule will strengthen the requirements for hydraulic fracturing performed on federal and Indian lands in order to build public confidence and protect the health of American communities, while ensuring continued access to the important resources that make up our energy economy…
In Colorado, a similar rule took effect April 1. Gov. John Hickenlooper applauded this latest move by the Department of Interior. “We are pleased that the Bureau of Land Management modeled its disclosure requirements for fracturing fluids after the Colorado rule, which is the most protective and transparent in the country as it requires the disclosure of the chemicals as well as their purpose and concentrations,” Hickenlooper said.