Let’s talk about fracking and its impact on our planet’s most important resource: water.
Fracking, which injects fluid into the ground to extract oil and gas, uses a lot of fresh water—a lot! As in 250 billion gallons in just 10 years. That’s enough to fill 400,000 Olympic swimming pools. It also produces toxic wastewater that can flow into rivers and streams and seep into our underground water supplies.
A Tidal Wave of Fracking Flowback
Since 2011, fracking’s water use is up 770% and the volume of flowback—the wastewater generated during operations—has increased by 1,440%, note researchers from Duke University. Today, there are more than 137,000 wells and counting as fracking operations continue to grow.
Unbeknownst to many people, fracking is not confined to America’s midsection. There are wells in more than 20 states. In fact, California has more than 3,400 fracking sites, many in well-populated or agriculturally important counties such as Los Angeles, Monterey, Kern, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara.
Is Your Money Funding Fracking?
When you put your money in the bank it goes out in the world and finances things. Bank of the West is making thoughtful choices about what we finance—and what we don’t. As part of this commitment, we’ve cut funding for oil and gas from fracking and, instead, are offering financing programs that look to leave a cleaner, healthier planet.