Fracking could make drought worse


The technique involves pumping vast quantities of water and chemicals under high-pressure deep underground to fracture rocks and force out gas and oil resources.  With drought officially declared in the South East yesterday and with the prospect of hosepipe bans looming, campaigners say any prospect of fracking should be halted.  To highlight their opposition, anti-fracking campaigners gathered today at Ardingly reservoir in West Sussex, one of the region’s worst affected reservoirs, with its water levels at around two-fifths of what it should be.

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East, said: ”Given yesterday’s announcement of drought in the region, it’s vital that we do not put our limited water supplies at risk.  In America, the commercial use of fracking to extract shale gas has led to concerns about water contamination and some people have needed to boil their water before drinking.  With water at such a premium in the South East region, we can’t afford to gamble with what little we have. Taking any decision to proceed with fracking without a full understanding of its possible effects is reckless.  That’s why I’m calling for an immediate moratorium on fracking until we understand more fully the environmental impact it can have.”

Vanessa Vine, a school secretary who started the No Fracking in Sussex Facebook campaign, said: ”Hydrofracking not only threatens to contaminate with neurotoxins both our wild water courses and our reservoir and aquifer system, it places huge, utterly unsustainable demand on water supplies, involving extensive countrywide tanker traffic which would further drain resources and impact our emissions.”

The energy company Cuadrilla Resources has permission from West Sussex County Council to conduct exploratory drilling at a site near Balcombe, near Haywards Heath.  The firm has said there were no plans ”at this stage”, or existing regulatory approval, for fracking to take place and any activity would follow consultation with the local community.  However villagers in West Sussex are deeply opposed to any future plans to conduct hydraulic fracturing at the existing well which was drilled unsuccessfully for oil by another energy firm in the 1980s.

Campaigners point to potential risks linked to fracking, including minor earthquakes, the use of chemicals and possible contamination of drinking water.  However, this month a team of Texas scientists reviewed evidence and concluded that fracking cannot be linked directly to reports of groundwater contamination.  The scientists found that many problems attributed to hydraulic fracturing are common to all oil and gas drilling systems.  Many reports of contamination could be traced to above-ground spills or mishandling of wastewater rather than the fracking technique itself, they said.

Source –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: