Cochrane reviews environmental and social policies on water use for hydraulic fracturing

Cochrane reviews environmental and social policies on water use for hydraulic fracturing by Colette Derworiz, August 16, 2012, Calgary Herald
Cochrane is reviewing the environmental and social policies around its bulk water supply after concerns were raised about it being used for fracking operations near the town. Earlier this month, residents raised concerns about water being sold off to oil and gas companies for hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which uses water to free trapped gas and oil from underground rock. Some suggest that the use of fracking could contaminate water. Mayor Truper McBride said the town’s water licence allows it to sell it in bulk for industry use such agriculture or oil and gas. “The landscape around Cochrane is changing quite quickly,” he said, noting there’s some angst attached to the amount of fracking that is taking place in the area. Those concerns are growing across Alberta by environmentalists and landowners alike. “It just shows water is for sale in the province,” said Don Bester, of the Alberta Surface Rights Group, noting oil and gas companies are offering big money to municipalities for water. “It’s a big concern.” Alberta’s Water Act allows for the sale of water by a municipality provided it stays within the amount allocated under its licence. McBride said the amount of water used by the fracking operation is actually quite small, but noted there’s enough concern that the town will review its social and environmental policies around water. “It’s going to be looking at best practices around Alberta and the United States, because fracking is so new here,” he said, noting the rate for someone buying bulk water from the town is currently the same for residential and industrial usage. It’s expected the review would report back in time for the town’s budget discussions in November. “There’s nothing hasty going to be done,” said McBride, noting they won’t change any agreements before then. “We want to take a holistic approach to it.” [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Town’s bulk water supply ‘secondary’ source for LIPG ]

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.