Using waste water for fracking is not sustainable

Re: Rimbey selling wastewater, Red Deer Advocate, April 12, 2013 The selling of waste water for oilpatch use should give pause as to where we are going with our water supply. One just has to search ‘fracking’ to understand how common it is to use water for extracting natural gas; and we’re talking a lot of water. A local company reports of piping water from an ‘isolated lake with no road access.’ One only has to look along the Red Deer River to see the practice occurring right in our backyard and yet, there seems to be no outcry.

Re: Rimbey selling wastewater, Red Deer Advocate, April 12, 2013

The selling of waste water for oilpatch use should give pause as to where we are going with our water supply.

One just has to search ‘fracking’ to understand how common it is to use water for extracting natural gas; and we’re talking a lot of water.

A local company reports of piping water from an ‘isolated lake with no road access.’ One only has to look along the Red Deer River to see the practice occurring right in our backyard and yet, there seems to be no outcry.

It seems odd that as a community we do all we can to conserve our water while these companies blithely take all they want and more.

And now we have Rimbey possibly selling its wastewater. The mayor commented that the water was waste water therefore not suitable for drinking — true, in its raw form. Waste water returns clean to the river for other communities down river to reuse. Granted the water is ‘new’ water to the river but it will return in spades for further use.

It needs to be understood that water used for fracking is lost forever! Any recovered water, less than 20 per cent, is awash with methane, benzene and sulfur oxide … pretty mean stuff if it is not contained.

There are other water-saving techniques available in getting the product out of the ground. Unfortunately, water is too close and too convenient. This practice cannot be sustained.

If Alberta Environment allows the selling of wastewater, you can bet your last drop of water that businesses will be on municipalities like ducks to water.

It’s cheap, it’s accessible — but it’s wrong and unethical.

Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer

Red Deer