Fracking potential threatened by prospect of water shortages

THE POTENTIAL shale gas boom from fracking could face a major obstacle, with 38 per cent of global shale gas resources in areas of high water stress, according to a report released yesterday.

According to a study by the World Resources Institute, eight of the top 20 countries, including the UK, with the highest shale reserves face the risk of disruption to operations from arid conditions and high water stress in areas of shale reserves.

While the UK does not face arid conditions, 34 per cent of areas where shale gas reserves were located were still found to face high-water stress by the report, owing to high population density and domestic water usage.

Hydraulic fracturing requires significant water usage, as it is mixed with chemicals and sand and pumped at high pressure into shale rock formations to release gas.

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