The destruction of the world's fresh water due to fracking is at the uppermost of our minds, as we live and drink the water in the Great Lakes state. How much water is being used for Michigan's frack industry is now proven to be obscenely underestimated. Michigan may have set a national record for allowing Encana Oil & Gas USA to frack a natural gas well with more than 21 million gallons of water.
A second nearby well is set to be fracked with more than 16 million gallons, according to a permit granted Encana late last year by Michigan regulators.
These big numbers are a big surprise. Most industry and government claims of water usage go by Marcellus shale figures, but here in Michigan, the frackers are using more water than perhaps anywhere else in the nation.
- •According to Michigan regulators (Department of Environmental Quality) "up to 5,000,000 gallons or more."
- •According to industry's public relations front group, Energy In Depth "as much as 5 million gallons."
- •According to the industry group website, FracFocus, by Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission states it takes (referring to the Marcellus shale in the eastern U.S.) "5 million gallons of water per well."
The truth is now coming out
FracFocus says the first well, State Excelsior 3-25 HD1, was fracked on Oct. 30, and Encana used 21,112,194 gallons of water. Combined with two other horizontal wells on the same pad, FracFocus says more than 42 million gallons went permanently downhole. The Excelsior pad (named after the township) is on Sunset Trail between Kalkaska and Grayling in the Mackinaw State Forest in Kalkaska County.