Stewardship Tip of the week
“It can have some of the water, but not all the water.” Geoffry McQuilkin, the former Co-Executive Director for the Mono Lake Committee, speaking at the Walker Lake Summit in 2002, was referring to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
In 1941, the LADWP extended the Los Angeles Aqueduct to Northern California and diverted four of the creeks that fed Mono Lake. By 1982, its water supply strangled at the source, Mono Lake had dropped 45 vertical feet. It had lost half its volume and doubled in salinity. The Mono Lake Committee pursued litigation. Eventually, the courts and the California State Water Resources Control Board ordered restoration of the damaged resources.
Although, the lake is now 25 feet lower than its prediversion level, Mono Lake and its surrounding environment are on the rebound. It will never be completely restored, but the situation is improving.
You can have some of the water, but not all of the water.
Today, natural gas and oil companies are using tremendous amounts of water to extract fossil fuels through hydraulic fracturing.
In Pennsylvania alone, there are about 71,000 wells that use hydraulic fracturing. A low volume frack may consume 20,000 to 80,000 gallons of fracking fluid, the majority of which is water. A high-volume frack may use as much as two to three million gallons of water. Removing such large amounts of water from the watershed can have a severe impact on our fisheries. Here in Nebraska, Pumpkin Creek no longer flows. Overzealous irrigation practices dropped the water table so low that the creek dried up.
The time is now. We need to let our congresswomen, congressmen, state legislators, and parliaments, know. The hydraulic fracturing industry can have some of the water, but they can’t have all the water.