WASHINGTON — North Dakota’s fracking boom has led to a new wrinkle in energy policy: who has the water rights to provide it to the energy community?
Fracking is the nickname for hydraulic fracturing and has been a center of heated discussion over U.S. environmental laws, U.S. energy needs, energy independence and jobs. There are several documentaries that try to discredit fracking, but one pro-fracking documentary called “FrackNation” demonstrates the benefits of fracking for the local farming communities.
While the fracking industry grows along the state’s Bakken shale field, the right to provide water to the fast-growing energy sector is a hot topic. According to a Reuters analysis, fracking requires more than 2 million gallons of water per fracking well, or equivalent to baths for about 40,ooo people.
North Dakota provides 10% of U.S. energy output and some estimates say it could double over the course of the next 10 years. It has led to an economic boom in the state and can jump-start America’s return to energy independence. Now, there is a dispute over the co-ops of North Dakota water wells and how much will be allocated to the state and then to the fracking industry.