During a proclaimed drought across much of the West, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Ely District of Nevada is offering up 399,873 acres of public lands for oil & gas lease sales.
This is being done even though “Fracking requires enormous quantities of water. Estimates put water usage at between 3 and 5 million gallons per fracking of a single well, and each well can be fracked several times.”
The BLM issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to lease these 399,873 acres June 28, 2013, only a month after issuing an EA to remove wild horses because “there is insufficient vegetation or water to maintain the wild horses’ health and well being.”
If there isn’t enough water for wild horses, how can there possibly be enough water for oil & gas exploration and development? Where is the water going to come from?
The map below shows the oil & gas lease sale parcel areas in red, and some of the wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs), including Triple B (Buck-Bald & Butte), Antelope, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley (which includes the Dolly Varden Range).
Now, take a look at these same HMAs below, with the red oil & gas lease sale area, including some of the groundwater basins in blue.
(Even though the red area may look small, there is a potential for a water drawdown and risk of water contamination over the area of the entire groundwater basin. And, there is inter-flow between basins.)
The map below shows a Grazing Allotment map, along with an outline of the wild horse HMAs and the oil & gas lease areas in red.
Scientific American published an article regarding fracking wastewater wells, stating “Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation’s geology as an invisible dumping ground.” More