Monday, December 15, 2008

Is Chesapeake getting Free Water from the Trinity River? Are the taxpayers subsidizing it? Who is really footing the bill?

Chesapeake is pumping river water to their rig for fracing. Fracing process uses about 2 million gallons of water. Who is paying for that water? Is it coming out of a reservoir that supplies Ft. Worth taxpayers with water? If so, what is the price that Chesapeake is paying? Who is collecting the money and how? Here in Ft. Worth we hear our City Government telling us to conserve water, don't water during certain times of day, etc. We also hear that water is becoming a commodity that is harder to come by and in years to come we will need to pipeline it from Toledo Bend which is about 300 miles away from Cowtown. That says to me that our water rates will continue to rise.
Around Ft. Worth we see Chesapeake advertising board that read, "Together we all win." Well, if water is going to cost the taxpayers more because it is harder to come by locally, then shouldn't someone be charging Chesapeake Energy for using water out of the Trinity River? Perhaps they are -- I'd like to know how much? I did not see one meter along the pipeline from this pump site to the well head; that's not to say there isn't one at the site. I'm not sure who controls the water from the Trinity but I believe Tarrant Regional Water District has much to do with it. Here's what TRWD website says:

"a mere fraction of the water TRWD sells each year to its customer cities and industrial users. In fact, the amount of water sold to gas drilling operations in fiscal year 2006 only accounted for 0.25% of the total water TRWD sold that year."

"The North Texas area is growing very rapidly, and will outgrow its water supply. Additional reservoirs, along with increased conservation measures, will be needed to meet those additional demands in the future."

Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-drilling. However, as with anything else that our elected officials are involved in, ie. City Government, I believe everything should be on the up & up and that if you say we are all winning with gas drilling, prove it! I appears to me that Ft. Worth's City Council is allowing the tax payer's dollars to subsidize much of the cost and expenses for the gas drilling industry. Just my opinion from what I hear and see here in Cowtown.


Suzette Watkins said...

I spoke with someone from Tarrant Regional Water District and Yes, Chesapeake is being charged for the water. They are paying $2.40/1000 gallons (4X the rate the TRWD sells water to the City of Ft. Worth). They are out of meters as is the CFW but they "know how much the gas companies use because they have to report it to Railroad Commission at State level." Per TRWD, energy companies use about 100,000 barrels of water per well (90K for fracing, 10 - 12K to drill). Also if you see water being pumped back into the Trinity it's water they didn't use. It is not contaminated, toxic or used water from the well.

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