The Great Texas Fracking Drought That Was Not Caused by Fracking

A very small town in Texas has allegedly run out of water, the cause of the water shortage is of course, facking and the oil industry.

A very small town in Texas has allegedly run out of water, the cause of the water shortage is of course, facking and the oil industry.

The Greens global campaign against fracking continues unabated with this latest flimsy story from the keyboard of Green junk journalist Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian where a very small town in Texas has apparently run out of water.

The story is actually over 2 months old, but in true Grauniad tradition has been dusted off and vaguely presented to appear as though the events are current and that the town is still dry.

To be honest, Goldenberg and yours truly have history, not in the biblical sense, but we have crossed swords on Twitter, the net result being that Goldenberg blocked me on Twitter from following her, or Tweeting with her, quite simply because I asked her question about one of her posts in the Grauniad. So in the interests of impartiality this is what Bishop Hill has to say about Goldenberg:

Meanwhile Roger Harrabin tweets a link to a story from the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, who enjoys a reputation for a less-than-diligent approach to truth and accuracy.

The story has naturally been resurrected in the light of David Cameron’s statement on Shale Gas at the weekend that “Britain cannot afford to miss out on Shale Gas

Always one to keep her reputation intact Goldenberg is as always, true to form with this story:

The day that we ran out of water I turned on my faucet and nothing was there and at that moment I knew the whole of Barnhart was down the tubes,” she said, blinking back tears. “I went: ‘dear God help us. That was the first thought that came to mind.”

Carefully selected sound bites taken out of context to provide a Green apocalyptic moment, the despair of a crying woman whose tap has run dry, more on that later on, but Goldenberg is rolling so why stop her now?

Across the south-west, residents of small communities like Barnhart are confronting the reality that something as basic as running water, as unthinking as turning on a tap, can no longer be taken for granted.

Three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry’s outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse.

There is truth in the drought and no doubt about the overuse of water from aquifers, a report in 2010 concluded that:

In the US, 21 percent of irrigation is achieved by pumping groundwater at rates that exceed the water supplies ability to recharge.

The effects of the drought are truly appalling, the hardship caused is almost unendurable:

Nearly 15 million people are living under some form of water rationing, barred from freely sprinkling their lawns or refilling their swimming pools. In Barnhart’s case, the well appears to have run dry because the water was being extracted for shale gas fracking.


The well appears to have run dry because of fracking, Green liberal junk journalism at it’s worst, Goldenberg has zero evidence to support her contention that fracking caused the well to run dry as they say, but still makes the assertion to push her Green Liberal political message.

The irony of the last 2 paragraphs of Goldenberg’s post is priceless:

But not Owens, not yet anyway. The underground aquifers needed far more rain to recharge, he said, and it just wasn’t raining as hard as it did when he was growing up.

“We’ve got to get floods. We’ve got to get a hurricane to move up in our country and just saturate everything to replenish the aquifer,” he said. “Because when the water is gone. That’s it. We’re gone.”

According to Goldenberg and all the others complicit or implicated in the great Anthropogenic Global Warming boondoggle extreme weather events like hurricanes are on the increase because of man made climate change, which of course is utter nonsense, extreme weather events globally are in decline and no hurricane has made land fall on the continental United States since 2006, which is why the new term superstorm was invented and applied to Sandy, which ceased to be a hurricane out at sea. Then even more embarrassingly for the Green Liberals their very own IPCC said Sandy was not caused by human influences.

So how much water does fracking consume in Texas, according the Energy Collective not that much:

Here we’ll turn to one last paper, a 2012 article in Environmental Science and Technology by by Jean-Philippe Nicot and Bridget Scanlon of University of Texas at Austin. Their paper notes that as of 2011, total annual water consumption for fracking in the Barnett Shale, the largest play in Texas, is equal to about 9% of the annual water consumption of the city of Dallas, for comparison. They also report that total water use for all shale gas wells in Texas amounted to below 1% of all freshwater withdrawals in the state, although again, “local impacts vary with water availability and competing demand.”

The story of Barnhart, Tx was reported in the The Texas Tribune on June 6th 2013:

Barnhart, a small community in West Texas, has run out of water.

John Nanny, an Irion County commissioner and an official with Barnhart’s water supply corporation, said on Thursday that the situation was serious. When reached by telephone, he was working on pumping operations and hoped to have a backup well in service Friday morning. A load of bottled water was on its way to the community center, he said.

The whole point of the Goldenberg’s story was to continue to try to cause fear and uncertainty about fracking in Britain and another desperate attempt to try and stop the shale gas revolution from arriving in Britain.

About Tory Aardvark

Climate Realist, Conservative and proud NRA member. I don't buy into the Man Made Global Warming Scam, science is never settled. @ToryAardvark on Twitter ToryAardvark on Facebook

Posted on August 12, 2013, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Church Of Climatology, Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, Global Warming, Green Environmental Holocaust, Green Lies, Junk Journalism, Junk Science, ManBearPig and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Its no good the economics of fracking in the UK will not stop the Green Holocaust the costs are too high as a result of road fuel duty. Also the alleged 6-8 wells per square mile will destroy the countryside, even if it produces good jobs for rural people in rural areas. All energy prices will be effectively propped up by the impact of the strike price on the average wholesale price of electricity itself thus setting a benchmark for all sources of energy based on Kw/h when used to generate electric !

  2. I am not sure where the prott gets his well density numbers from but the gas deposits are the thickest in the world which would lead to far, far fewer wells at the surface. Mind you if you are anti gas wells then any amount of hyperbole is acceptable.

    The fact is ground water will not be polluted, earthquakes won’t be caused and no extra cancers will be diagnosed. What will happen is clean, cheap domestic gas will improve the economic and actual lives of many Brits while creating a lot of decent jobs with minimal impact on the environment. Oh, and let’s face it if you don’t want wellhead infrastructure to be seen, put it underground like a car park or something.

  3. If I have the choice between a Well head or a Wind turbine, I will go for the well every time.Gas wells will run 24/7 and are not weather dependent and cannot be seen from miles away spoiling the countryside.

  4. Texas doesn’t get rain, does it? However, there is concern that some drilling methodology drains aquifers and contaminates them. It all depends on the depth of the water table? Methane can be released but there are other chemicals that are worse, Benzine I think, (oil)
    Texas is an oil producing state? Deep water aquifers are not filled up by rain.

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