Walter G. Wright
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law
The University of Texas has issued a December 19th news release referencing a new report by its researchers titled Natural Gas Saves Water and Reduces Drought Vulnerability, Even When Factoring in Water Loss to Hydraulic Fracturing.
A substantial use of water is often cited as a potential issue associated with hydraulic fracturing.
The University of Texas news release states researchers opine that the transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the State of Texas less vulnerable to drought. The news release also states:
Even though exploration for natural gas through hydraulic fracturing requires significant water consumption in Texas, the new consumption is easily offset by the overall water efficiencies of shifting electricity generation from coal to natural gas. The researchers estimate that water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is 25 to 50 times as great as the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing to extract the natural gas. Natural gas also enhances drought resilience by providing so-called peaking plants to complement increasing wind generation, which doesn't consume water.
The results of the University of Texas study are stated will be published in Environmental Research Letters.
A copy of the news release can be downloaded below.