Last updated July 30, 2015

Although the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and surrounding areas gets much of the media attention, other shale deposits around the country are burgeoning as well. More drilling means an expanded need for fracking water around the country.

Pennsylvania’s Marcellus natural gas deposits are a case-in-point. There, a symbiotic relationship has emerged between the drilling industry’s fracking needs and excess water generated by municipalities.

Some cases of municipalities selling water to fracking industry are found in Pennsylvania.

Bellefonte Borough: A Case Study

One need only look as far as Centre County, PA, for a classic case study of this mutually beneficial relationship.

There, Bellefonte Borough Water Authority has a long-established practice of selling excess water to various drilling companies, many of which need about three-and-a-half million gallons of fracking water per Centre County well.

The borough’s largesse results from it being licensed to withdraw up to five-million gallons of water everyday from an aquifer even though it needs only two-million gallons each day.

Exco, Andarko, A&A Construction and RN Industries have all looked to the borough’s water authority for fracking water.

Hydraulic fracturing in the United States

For example, the water authority made $300,000 in 2011 selling water for $6 per 1,000 gallons.

A hook up situated in the Penn Eagle Industrial Park offers interested companies an easy way to access the water.

The water authority uses the revenue to offset expenses in its general operating budget. That’s good news for residential and commercial water customers.

Waste Water For Fracking

Centre County waste water has also been used to meet the needs of fracking. The University Area Joint Authority contacted with Exco to sell up to 400,000 gallons of waste water each day.

Selling water for fracking

At $2 per thousand gallons, this arrangement can mean thousands of dollars every week for the Authority.

Donegal Lake Water

In the past couple of years, Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission has contracted with Williams to authorize water sales from Donegal Lake.

The proceeds in this arrangement may eventually reach into the millions of dollars.

The commission is reportedly using the revenue to help it to replace an aging infrastructure of dams in the state.

These are just a few specific examples from the state of Pennsylvania. There is unrealized profit potential for municipalities and water authorities in many states where drilling continues to expand every year.

For more information on automated water management systems and software, please contact us.

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