|Fresh water impoundment, Bradford County, PA (photo by SRBC)|
Some companies have been recycling their flowback fluids. Others have proposed using minewaste water and water from sewage treatment plants. But that's still millions of gallons of water going downhole that can never be used again. It's gone; out of the water cycle.
And this year, those recycling/re-use efforts simply aren't enough given the drought. Even water-rich NY and PA have seen the driest July on record, forcing the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to halt water withdrawals. Oil and gas drillers in the midwest are so desperate for water that it's becoming a struggle to see whether crops will be irrigated or wells drilled.
Check out this recent article from CNN Money: "Oil companies desperately seek water amid Kansas drought".
Oil and gas companies aren't the only energy companies feeling the heat from climate change. This past Sunday the nuclear power plant in Connecticut shut down one of its two units because the sea water used for cooling was too warm.