Fracking Depleting US Water Supplies

A key argument in the debate against hydro fracturing is that the practice leads to contamination of groundwater and other natural resources. This has led to a number of moratoriums and bans on the local level, but a new study has been released that shows another possible negative side effect of fracking. This Guardian article outlines the results of the study and the stresses that the process has on our water supplies. This is an especially large problem for those areas already affected by draught. The article even mentions the correlation between shale fracturing and areas affected by draught, and provides a graph to this effect.

Do you think that this article is calling attention to an issue that isn’t a real problem? In other words, is this fear-mongering? Is this an important study to publicize? Why or why not? Is the graph provided effective for illustrating the article’s meaning?

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3 Responses to “Fracking Depleting US Water Supplies”

  1. Although I’ll admit that I’m probably pretty biased on this issue, I don’t think that this piece should be considered “fear-mongering.” The points brought up in this article don’t seem to be of a sensationalist nature, it’s just highlighting yet another reason why fracking can pose an environmental hazard to areas where it occurs. Even if people don’t care about the environmental impacts of fracking, which in my opinion should be enough to oppose the practice, making this a human interest story by explaining that it is also a threat to local water security in drought-stricken and consistently dry areas is something that has the potential to make people think twice about this harmful and energy-intensive source of fossil fuels.

  2. I don’t think that this article is fear-mongering. It doesn’t use any extreme language and seems to state the issue in a quite matter-of-fact way. Personally, I think that an issue as severe as drying up wells and the loss of community water should be getting more coverage, and should sound a little more urgent. I am surprised that I haven’t heard about this.I wonder if the fracking companies have been putting a lot of effort into keeping this issue quiet. That would make sense, because that is exactly what oil companies did with climate change evidence. The at the bottom was a little confusing to be honest. Not very effective for the average reader who will just be glancing at it in order to get a quick summary of the facts.

  3. No, I most definitely do not think that this article is focusing on a non-issue. Actually, I think that it is raising awareness about a topic that the public is not completely aware of, and if they are aware they don’t have all of the necessary information to create an informed argument or opinion. While reading the article, I was not at all met with any fear-mongering language. Instead, like Maria stated, I encountered series of statistics and numbers that gave me a truthful glimpse into the situation. The journalist is not trying to scare the reader, but it just happens to be that the figures mentioned are actually pretty frightening for the average person.

    It is extremely important that we publicize this issue. Maybe it’s just me, but I have been seeing too many articles written lately on the same topic, and I believe that the issue of fracking deserves to be in the spotlight. The reporter states that “Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America’s energy rush”. That seems pretty important to me, especially since we spend our last class period talking about climate change,and energy and its conservation.

    To be honest, I was extremely surprised to see the graph at the end. I actually did not think that the article did the graph any justice (or at least the justice that it deserved). I think the images used in this piece were fantastic, and really hooked me at the beginning. To use two powerful images and then follow with a complicated graph did not make much sense to me. In fact, I think there could have been much more explanation regarding the graph, and more effort in trying to make it more relevant to the piece. I think the best approach would have been to do a completely separate story (after this initial one) with the graph as the focal point.

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