Published May 1, 2012
According to ODNR Director, Jim Zehringer, Ohio will have 2,250 horizontal “fracked” Wells by 2015 in Eastern Ohio. Each uses two to six million gallons of water. Citing 5 million gallons per well for easy math, 5 million times 2,250 = 11,250,000,000. That is 11+ billion. If no improvements are made in recycling, or substitutes like propane and carbon dioxide gels, this water will be injected into the earth.
The management of our water resources is parochial and competitive throughout Ohio. The closest to an overreaching body that controls water is the Ohio Water Resources Council. This is a body created by ODNR as “a forum for policy development, collaboration, and coordination among state agencies, and strategic direction with respect to state water resource programs”, according to the ODNR web site. Also related to water resource management is the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources – Water Withdrawal Facilities Registration, for logging entities that withdraw water.
It was reported in the Salem News that the City of Salem is talking with Cheasapeake about selling water from their municipal supply. Legislation is being debated in the Ohio General Assembly concerning the amount of water a company can extract from Lake Erie per day. This legislation is undoubtedly related to the water rush that will soon take place.
The drought of 1988 was one of the worst in US History. At its peak, the drought covered 45% of the nation. Ohio's water reached record lows.
Water used by new supply chain businesses, hotels being proposed and imported families and individuals may cause the need for planning to provide water to drillers from non-potable sources. This will safeguard against future droughts and add stability and predictability to this industry's plans. Such a source is the currently unutilized Girard Lakes. If the lower lake dam was fixed and gravity fed pipes that lead from it to the Mahoning River valley were employed, this area could offer up to a half million gallons a day. The water could be obtained in a location that allows access to Interstates 80 and 680 and State Route 11. The Girard lakes have the capacity of producing 5 million gallons a day if the water is extracted directly. The 5 million gallons is coincidentally the same amount needed for a “frack” job. One “frack” a day while keeping the drought away sounds like a worthwhile strategy.