As the industry targets this new frontier, there will be sharp increases in hydraulic fracturing or fracking operations to free the trapped gas. This means that tremendous amounts of water, sand and chemicals will be pressure-pumped deep underground using diesel-fired compressors to create cracks or fractures in the rock that allow the trapped gas to be released.
How much water? Well consider this: In northeast BC today, fracking operations at just one one shale gas pad with a dozen wells on it will toxify the equivalent of all the water in Saanich’s Elk and Beaver lakes, where Canada’s Olympic rowing teams train. This will have to be repeated thousands of times to achieve the government’s export targets.