Starting Feb. 1, drilling operators in Texas will have to report many of the chemicals used in the process known as hydraulic fracturing. Environmentalists and landowners are looking forward to learning what acids, hydroxides and other materials have gone into a given well.But a less-publicized part of the new regulation is what some experts are most interested in: the mandatory disclosure of the amount of water needed to “frack” each well. Experts call this an invaluable tool as they evaluate how fracking affects water supplies in the drought-prone state.
Science is always a work in progress, with engineering following behind. The only way to refine a technique like fracking is to put it into practice and dive into the data. With laws like Texas’s, we can now begin this important process in earnest.