Claims that hydraulic fracturing has contaminated drinking water are not supported by the facts. In truth, provincial regulations and industry operating practices work to protect drinking water aquifers and surface water.
Data collected by the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the provincial regulator, shows none of the approximately 9,000 wells hydraulically fractured in the province to date have resulted in drinking water contamination. Over the past 60 years, industry has hydraulically fractured more than 175,000 wells in B.C. and Alberta without impacting drinking water, according to provincial regulators.
In the United States, Lisa Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said she is “not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” Also, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”
The Canadian safety record is the result of effective regulations and industry best operating practices, such as CAPP’s operating practices for hydraulic fracturing.
Regulations also apply to surface water industry is allowed to use.
Approved short-term water use is less than one per cent of mean annual runoff of any individual river basin in B.C. Industry’s actual water use in 2012 was less than 0.075 per cent, according to the BCOGC.
If water levels drop during droughts, the BCOGC will suspend water use as a precaution to ensure ample water flows.
For example, the BCOGC recently suspended short-term water withdrawals in a number of areas in northeastern B.C. due to seasonal drought conditions.