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MICHIGAN Fracking wells used 42M gallons of water

Published: Mon, February 25, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Three deep hydraulic fracturing wells in northwestern lower Michigan’s Kalkaska County have used 42 million gallons of water in the past two years, according to a published report.

The water-use figures for the hydraulic fracturing operations were based on public documents and interviews, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

The process, also known as fracking, uses high- pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack open rock formations and release oil and gas.

The wells are run by Encana Oil & Gas wells in Excelsior Township, about 25 miles east of Traverse City. Some environmental groups and county residents have expressed concern about the water use.

“They are gigantic water consumers, and there are enormous wells,” said Paul Brady, who lives a few miles away. “I’m concerned about the water, just like everyone else should be.”

Frac Focus, a nonprofit group created by industry and environmentalists to provide factual information on hydraulic-fracturing activity, has a website that allows energy companies to publicly document details about their wells, including water usage. It shows that one of the Kalkaska County wells used 21.1 million gallons of water and two others a combined 20.9 million gallons.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality monitors water use at the wells and said the amount of water being used fits within the range of safe ground- water withdrawals.

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