Trinity River Water Being Taken For Gas Wells

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – On the dry, browning shores of the Trinity River, across from Rockwood Park in Fort Worth, is a familiar looking installation — a half dozen pipes connected to large pumps extend down the bank into river. The brown water boils as it is sucked up a long stretch of pipes, past Greenwood Cemetery and around a neighborhood.

The pipes end at a well, where the water is forced into the ground to break up shale and release natural gas.

And this big industrial project is less than a mile down the river from people in swimsuits, inner tubes and paddle boards — at an event designed to promote the river as an accessible and enjoyable recreation area. Several people at the ‘Rockin’ the River’ event said that it did not seem fair. “Well, it seems like we need the water [from the banks of the river],” Amy Todd said Thursday. “So, why are they taking it?”

This is one of at least two operations on the Trinity River right now. The other well is taking water across Trinity River Park, south of Seventh Street.

Starting on Monday, most of Tarrant County will be under water restrictions, limiting outdoor water use because of shrinking reservoirs. But the Tarrant Regional Water District said that state law does not allow it to cut back or stop sales to commercial customers until a later stage of drought restrictions.

“It’s your yard. You pay your bills. You pay your taxes. And so do they,” said Erin Baxley. “But they get to benefit and take all the water from you. And what do you get? A nasty brown yard.”

Yards use more water by far, according to district and city statistics. The Tarrant Regional Water District said that drilling operations typically account for just one percent of water usage, versus 50 to 60 percent for outdoor watering. The operations usually take between three to four million gallons of water, which is purchased from the water district at double the usual wholesale rate.

A Chesapeake Energy spokesman said on Thursday that the company does consider conservation. It will even put some projects off if water becomes an issue. But it also has a responsibility to employees, partners, and even power plants that run on natural gas.

Some people swimming in the river agreed, saying that it was better for somebody to make use of the water before it is gone. “It’s going to disappear regardless,” said Marcus Lopez. “The sun’s going to take it. We’re going to take it. The drillers going to take it.”

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  • Dave Taylor

    There is a problem because of an unfair state law. When a lobbiest does Rick Perry a favor, they receive a nice payback.

  • John

    These guys, Perry, drilling companies and local governments are sumbags. Somebody please deal with these dirty SOBs.

  • genew

    now it’s perry’s fault, remember lives in north Texas can’t figure away to blame him. he’s been the cause of all the tornates, floods and high temps sure perry pays back to those who help, so did george washington so instead of cring and blame start looking for a solutation.

    • dbt

      This is not about natural disasters, it is about taking bribes, even if indirectly, for favors to big business. I wasn’t here in G. Washington’s time or I’m sure I would have complained if he appeared to be influenced by lobbiests..
      Your spelling is as bad as your political beliefs.

    • John Q. Public

      go back to school

  • John

    That is PUBLIC water. Not private company water.

    • M Landman

      Well Sir I invite you to go down and fill your canteen with that stuff and drink away.

  • M Landman

    It’s funny how all you talking heads are crying out “It’s our water”. Really? do you REALLY want that water? Or are you just jealous that someone is making money and you’re not? Get over it. This economy needs jobs not crying over polluted Trinity River water. If you’re so concerned, then stop using natural gas, oil, gasoline or any petroleum products, this will reduce the need for oil and gas exploration. Oh wait you don;t wanna do that because it will impact your comfort level, so you;ll just whine and cry instead.

    • shawn

      Well said, I really don’t think these people could have survived the horse and buggy days,

  • Trinity River Water Being Taken For Gas Wells — Me and the Chicks

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  • John

    Not that I should reaaly care. That water is down-right nasty anyway. However, that doesn’t change what Perry, or, Chesapeake really are.
    It does make me upset when they speed-frac and ruin the aquifers, then use the water. I’m glad I have the drilling company that I do under lease. They don’t speed frac and they recycle thier water. Chesapeake has proven thier worth anyway. Thier getting they’re getting thier pants sued off for ruining the Delaware. They said in the article that they have to keep drilling in order to keep up with the demand… Yep, in other states. Ever looked to see what the cost of LNG/LP/Propane is in this state versus how cheap it is in non-producing states? I pay three times as much for what I buy versus how much I get out of my own well.

  • John Matlock

    The Trinity river is the only river in Texas with a fish consumption BAN.

  • bugger

    If it’s that NASTY then why are people smimming in it? I agree, it’s nothing but sewer water but some people like swimming in my pee.

  • dbt

    I’m embarassed. I criticized someone’s spelling, then I mis-spelled lobbyists.

  • bob

    where i come from we did not waste water on our lawn. we was never in competition to see who had the prettiest lawn and house on the block. we used water for drinking, washing our clothes, bathing and tried not to waste none.

  • Ben

    So it’s OK for farmers to irrigate the corn they grow for ethanol but it’s not ok for gas drillers to use non-potable water for gas drilling?

  • SD G

    You need to research and verify your comments before you post. The water used for irrigating corn crops is NOT considered non-potable water. Also, in a drought as severe as this one, it is NOT ok for water to be used to irrigate a crop that is going to be used to make FUEL as opposed as to FOOD for humans or livestock. The problem now though is that it is not easy to determine what the end use of the crop is going to be.

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  • Nomac suporter

    Here we go again; those horrible oil companies at it again. One lady commented in the story; ‘ and all I get is a brown lawn’. Guess none of us benefit from oil and gas exploration huh.. You use a horse and buggy do ya? Griping and complaining that all the oil industry ever gets; we need the energy, until we develop wind and solar, and enjoy our cars and air conditioned homes but goodness don’t you dare inconvenience us. You need to look at the story about water consumption on the news in the preceding days that stated the bigger water user was Miller Brewing. Oh no though, we couldn’t do without our beer though now could we….

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