The state of Texas is in a state of pain.
We almost have to invent a new word to convey the sense of a drought this devastating: 98% of the state is experiencing drought, with areas of “severe” and “exceptional” drought.
Farmers and ranchers are selling their herds. Yet in some towns, the fracking industry is being allowed to use 50% of the water. You can call Texas Governor Rick Perry to ask him why: (512) 463-2000.
I called to ask Perry if Texas is considering any policy changes with regard to permitting water withdrawals for fracking, in the face of this severe drought. Lucy Nashed called back from Governor Perry’s press office to say that they have “no plans to change any Texas policies with regard to fracking at this time,” because the Texas Railroad Commission had recently “streamlined water re-use to make sure we have a balance of economic activity and use of our natural resources.”
Some towns have literally been sucked dry by the fracking water withdrawals. In “Drought-Stricken Texas Fracks Its Way to Water Shortages,” EcoWatch reports on the small town of Barnhart, Texas, where the demand for water for fracking was so high, the entire town was sucked dry for days on end. Texas is now building more than 60 miles of pipeline to supply water to Barnhart because of the demands of fracking.