Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet Sierra Club Allegheny Group, Pennsylvania Chapter

Marcellus Rivers and Water

Fracking’s Achilles Heel – Adequate Water Supply?

April is normally the wettest month of the year in central Pennsylvania, but this year the Susquehanna River was so low that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) temporarily suspended the withdrawal of water from the river for drilling. The companies were able to get water from other sources, but with the need for about five million gallons of water per well, this has to be a concern for the future. According to the SRBC, the Susquehanna River is at levels that haven’t been seen since the severe drought years of 1910 and 1946, even though 2011 was the wettest year on record for Harrisburg. The irony is that the burning of natural gas contributes to climate change, producing more extreme weather and greater chances of drought in Pennsylvania. NOTE. We should also mention that American Rivers has ranked the Susquehanna as the most endangered river in the nation.

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