Texas Wildfires 2011 Image credit:NASA, via Flickr.
Farmers everywhere require water to raise crops or animals. Texas fracking drillers need water - in some counties extraordinary amounts - to extract their product. Fire fighters too need water to douse the flames (as pictured). When there's a serious, extended drought, as there now is in much of Texas, something has got to give. Frackers are offering farmers 40 to 70 cents per barrel of water so they can use that water to extract natural gas and there's no end in sight to the drought. Frackers can move to Pennsylvania but farmers have no out. Bloomberg covers the interplay between frackers and farmers in Worst Drought in More Than a Century Threatens Texas Oil Boom
Politics of drought.
No surprise that Texas "government officials [must] ration water supplies crucial to energy exploration." Yet, in Texas, groundwater has long been viewed as a resource too mysterious to abide convenient government regulation. There are even law firms that specialize in unraveling the mysteries of ground water rights. As stated by the R.L Wilson PC law firm:
Although it has been more than one hundred years since the Texas Supreme Court characterized the movement of groundwater as being "so secret, occult and concealed" that regulation would be "practically impossible," the rapidly-changing and increasingly-complex laws governing water in Texas remain as mysterious as ever.How does Texas hope to create jobs or balance a budget in such serious, mysterious circumstances? I can't imagine.