Drought conditions and water restrictions in West Texas have made residents even more aware of local water consumption. Drought has returned to texas just 5 months after Hurricane Harvey hit the state. It is estimated that 40% of Texas is now in a moderate to severe drought (Jan. 2018). Water is not just a household issue but an oil and gas industry issue. Water is necessary to complete the hydraulic fracturing process. The amount of water used per well varies, but the process to frack a single, deep shale well can require 3 to 5 million gallons of water. In recent years companies like Pioneer Natural Resources, Anadarko and Halliburton have taken the initiative to recycle frack water to reuse in the drilling process. Recycling produced water from a well saves fresh ground water resources.
The Energy and Environment Program at the Atlantic Council has also compiled a white paper on Sustainable Water Management in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry, evaluating freshwater impacts and utilization of alternatives such as produced and/or brackish water for fracking operations.
Further consideration of Oil and Gas Water Usage has been considered by Texas Railroad Commissioner, Ryan Sitton, in his current report that drills down into the usage by industry and should be taken into consideration when making development plans.
The Texas Water Development Board has also completed the 2017 State Water Plan to ensure the continued vitality of the Texas economy.