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Old 02-17-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default Little Beaver Creek water withdrawals

TCT,

Here is an article about concerns over withdrawing water from Little Beaver Creek and its tributaries for use in fracking. Note that the group is meeting on Thursday, February 21 at 6:30 at the Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center.

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:52 AM   #2
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Nothing to worry about. Ben Lupo said he'd put the water back as soon as he was done using it!! With extras, no charge!!
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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On February 21, I attended a meeting of the citizens group that is concerned with protecting Beaver Creek State Park from the impacts of fracking. This group is not opposed to fracking, but it is trying to keep surface drilling out of the state park. The group is also very concerned with excessive water withdrawals from the creek and its tributaries throughout the watershed that would negatively affect stream biota in the park and in the stretches with wild and scenic river designation.

Drillers and water haulers in Ohio have little if any legal restrictions on the volume of water they can remove from a stream. According to members of the group, the only legal requirement is registering with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for withdrawing more than 100,000 gallons per day from public waters. And unlike water from a municipal or private supplier, this water is free. Fracking a well requires between five and six million gallons of water.

Because there are a number of different drilling companies operating in the area (one person mentioned eight; another 12-15), more than one company could be withdrawing water simultaneously at different locations on streams in the watershed. But no public entity monitors water withdrawals from public waters in real time. Adding to the complexity of trying keep track of how much water is being withdrawn is that drillers contract with different hauling companies to supply water. Adding to the potential scope of this situation is the estimate from one of the county commissioners of 1,000 wells in Columbiana County in five or six years. In short, it seems like it is and could be a free-for-all to get the water that drillers need whenever and from wherever they can (my interpretation) when they are seeking water at no cost.

This citizens group intends to soon set up a monitoring program to measure pH, dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, and total solids at eight sites in the watershed in efforts to try to get some baseline data on the health of the three forks and the main stem of Little Beaver. It will also have to come up with some methodology for establishing minimum streamflow to maintain the health of the stream. And then, they will have to convince drillers and water haulers to respect this streamflow minimum–not an enviable task–because there is no legal requirement for them to do so.

Attending the meeting opened my eyes to the potential magnitude of this the shale gas situation and some of the potentially unwelcome impacts. Whether and to what extent this could affect recreational activities like paddling remains to be seen, but it would not be surprising to me that from time to time, it could.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Yea right, drillers and water haulers "voluntarily" being concerned with environmental issues that may impact their profit margin, like that's ever going to happen. Even with laws, rules, and regulations the ecosystem is still unprotected, the recent discharge into the Mahoning River is evidence enough. I fear that in a few years the Beaver Creek system (among others) may be permanently below paddling zero.
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