The volume of water used in fracking oil and gas wells in the United States continues to increase dramatically. This is caused by a number of factors having to do with the nature of the wells and the difficulty of extraction. It is imperative that we rehabilitate fracking waste water.

A paper about water use in hydraulic fracking
(https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2015WR017278) reports that the amount of water used per well has increased from less than 1000 cubic meters in 2000 to more than 15,000 cubic meters. 15,000 cubic meters of water is nearly four million gallons – enough to supply fresh water to over 17,000 homes for a day. That’s just one of the tens of thousands of wells fracked every year.

The use of more water is due in part to the signifiant increase in horizontal drilling, which requires vastly more water than fracturing vertical wells. There is more fracking occurring in shale-gas and other natural reservoirs with tightly held oil and gas.

This volume of water cannot be simply discarded or stored. The environmental impact is too great, and the volume of water in currently drought-plagued environments is too much to waste. Existing technologies make it possible to recycle and re-use hydraulic fracturing waste water, or to clean it sufficiently for non-potable use.