California fracking is making the drought worse

Brittney Christ

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The California drought has become a hot topic with the news. What has not been mentioned is the impact that fracking has had upon the drought. 

Fracking, otherwise known as “hydraulic fracturing,” is a way for oil companies to extract natural gas and oil that is deep below the Earth’s surface.

The oil industry is using up to 2 million gallons of water a day, worsening the already horrific drought that has left California’s lakes, streams and reservoirs gasping for rain. 

Not to mention, a mix of chemicals and sand is mixed with the water used to extract the oil and gas and the polluted water has to be stored in wells or evaporation pits.

This polluted, toxic mix of water then leaks into already depleted sources of water. 11 fracking sites have already been shut down by The California Department of Gas and Geothermal Resources because of the fear of water contamination. About 100 more sites are also being examined for this contamination prospect.

99 percent of the fracking sites for the state are in the Central Valley, where most of the state’s agriculture is located. This means fracking, as well as the polluted water, is side by side with crops like almonds and potatoes. 

In addition to these problems, residents of California’s Central Valley region are suffering from nausea, headaches and rare, unusual cancers. 

The side effects from fracking are undeniable. 

California needs to be putting strict water restrictions on every home and business in the state to help with the water issue. However, it also needs to focus efforts on stopping fracking. Not only is fracking causing people to become ill, ruining land and polluting the environment, but it is ruining and threatening the minuscule bit of water the state has left.

It is not going to be enough to inflict water restrictions like not watering your lawn, or only washing your car at a wash station, California needs to do more. Fracking is using 2 million gallons of precious water a day, all because of the greed of the oil and gas companies that benefit. 

Instead of using that water for fracking, the state should be giving that water to the farmer’s who need it to grow crops that are going to help California’s economy thrive. All of the water bottling plants also need to be shut down since most of America’s bottled water comes straight from California.

If we can stop fracking, California’s water would last longer and give the state a chance to bounce back. Fracking is exacerbating the drought, and it needs to end.