02:55 GMT +316 November 2018
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    Between 2000 and 2013, approximately 9.4 million people, and 6,800 sources of drinking water were located within one mile of a fracking well, according to the EPA.

    California Farmers Using Fracking Water Bought From Oil Companies

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    Farmers in Kern County, California, have been irrigating their crops with waste water supplied by oil companies in a move that’s leaving a bad taste in the mouths of environmentalists, who are calling it a pact with the devil. But, farmers in California have not had it easy.

    Farmers in California have not had it easy.

    The state has endured four years of record drought with summer temperatures frequently exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drawing from the water table is also a challenge as more than 1,000 wells have dried up.

    But there, is another option.

    The Cawelo Water District, a cooperative financed by local farmers, has spent the last 20 years buying water from oil companies – Kern County is home to 80 percent of the state’s oil production.

    Abby Auffant, a spokeswoman for Chevron, explains that the company supplies farmers with water which it must separate from crude oil.

    Chevron provides more than 500,000 barrels of water a day to the Cawleo Water District, which relies on Chevron for 50 percent of its supplies.

    The water is filtered and then piped to a reservoir, where it’s combined with supplies from neighboring oil plants before finally being mixed with fresh water.

    Chevron has a permit for this practice. The water is tested by a third party before results are sent to California authorities.

    Farmers pay about $33 per acre-foot compared to up to $1,500 for the same quantity of fresh water, said David Ansolabehere, head of the water distribution cooperative.

    But, environmentalists aren’t buying.

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    Tags:
    drought, California drought, anti-fracking, fracking, Chevron, Cawelo Water District, Abby Auffant, Kern County, California
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