The Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center calculates in a newly released report that 1.3 billion gallons of freshwater have been used in hydraulic fracking in New Mexico since 2005.
Hydraulic fracking is the practice of pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to break apart rock in order to release gas.
"Two-thirds of New Mexico is still in moderate to extreme drought, despite the recent rains and floods," says a release by the group. "At the same time, a new report calculates the toll of this dirty drilling on our environment, including 1.3 billion gallons of freshwater used since 2005. The Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center report Fracking by the Numbers is the first of its kind to measure the footprint of fracking in New Mexico to date."
According to the report, fracking has resulted in:
-3 billion gallons of toxic wastewater generated in 2012
-9,810 tons of air pollution produced in one year
-1.3 billion gallons of fresh water used since 2005
-8,900 acres of land degraded since 2005
-1.7 million tons of global warming pollution since 2005
John Fleck at the Albuquerque Journal reported in August that lawmakers on the Legislature's Water and Natural Resources Committee "heard a wide range of numbers about how much water is really being used" from the process. Karin Foster of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association told him "one-fourth of 1 percent of the state's water is used in the oil and gas industry."