California realises too late that fracking has destroyed underground water reserves

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” 

The action comes as California’s agriculture industry copes with a drought crisis that has emptied reservoirs and cost the state $2.2 billion this year alone. The lack of water has forced farmers across the state to supplement their water supply from underground aquifers, according to a study released by the University of California Davis. 

http://www.propublica.org/article/ca-halts-injection-fracking-waste-warning-may-be-contaminating-aquifers

by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, July 18, 2014, 11:50 a.m.
The potential impact of waste from oil and gas drilling — including hydraulic fracturing — on drinking water has been an issue in Texas, Wyoming and, with great urgency, in California this month. Here, a jar of fracking water waste is displayed at a recycling site in Midland, Texas. (Pat Sullivan/AP Photo)
California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.
The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders werefirst reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.
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