Letter to the editor: Protect our water; don’t waste it on fracking

Basically all of our Colorado agriculture, ranching, outdoor recreation, and urban or rural living directly depends on water.  In the San Luis Valley, as elsewhere in Colorado, we use and enjoy our lakes, streams, and rivers. We absolutely need clean water for living, for agriculture, for fish and for wildlife and the process of fracking endangers our water’s health and purity through contamination of both surface and underground sources.

We have seen over-appropriation of our water in the Valley, and are seeing the reduction of water’s use for agriculture because of this over appropriation.  The Valley floor averages 7-inches of annual precipitation, which qualifies the San Luis Valley’s surface as a desert.  We need clean water for everything we do.  We need clean water to grow potatoes and grain and alfalfa and gardens.  We don’t have water to waste on fracking.

Fracking not only takes water from “living” uses, but contaminates that water.  Of the millions of gallons of fresh water that goes into each and every fracking operation, roughly half of it comes back up permanently contaminated by both the toxic chemicals used and the poisonous and sometimes radioactive minerals found deep in the ground.

Billions of gallons of this permanently contaminated wastewater then needs to be quarantined underground; permanently removed from the earth’s water cycle -- and this means contamination of our vast multiple-ice-age-millions-of-year’s-old fresh-water aquifer. Claiming to safely bury contaminated fracking water in the valley, just put’s the bad water into our ancient 4-mile deep aquifer.

Our groundwater and aquifers are contaminated each time a well drilled for fracking fails. And all will eventually fail.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) reported that of the 5,000 spills that were registered (many more are not reported), 43 percent contaminated groundwater.  This citizen-sponsored proposition 112 helps protect all living thing’s future.

We need safer setbacks for all kinds of reasons: protecting our health, safety from explosions, keeping neighborhoods a place to live, but also for water, so essential for life.

On November 6, or as soon as you get your mail-in ballot, please vote YES on Proposition 112 for Safer Setbacks.

Les Porter



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