Irony Alert: Pennsylvania Fracking Operation Stopped due to Drought
April 20, 2012
Low stream flows have forced officials to suspend water usage for the natural gas development (fracking) in portions of Pennsylvania.
A lack of snowfall this winter and a lack of rain this spring were the major players in abnormally low stream flows, low ground water levels and depleted soil moisture.
According to a report published by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SBRC), 17 separate water withdrawals were temporarily suspended.
The suspension, initiated to mitigate plunging stream flows in the basin affects 10 companies in five Pennsylvania counties. Those counties are Bradford, Luzerne, Lycoming, Susquehanna and Tioga.
Additional withdrawals may be suspended if rainfall continues to trend below normal.
According to officials, the restrictions are applied to various streams when flow rates reach a certain threshold and do not wait for declaration of a drought.
The abnormally dry conditions have also resulted in an elevated and extended wildfire season this year.
While a storm is forecast to bring some rain to the region this weekend, more rain (not in excess) is needed on a regular basis to reverse the building drought conditions.