Natural Gas Companies are making a progress to develop the association with the water industry as they are in need of large quantity of water. The water customers are going to get the benefits from such alliances if they are done successfully.
Those gas companies which are operating in the Utica shales and Marcellus are spending the money on the extension of the public water lines in the rural region so that the provision of water can be made possible for the hydraulic fracturing of their wells. There is a requirement of millions of gallons of water for this purpose that is why they are looking to take this step forward. It is also going to be utilized for the building of the treatment plants.
One of the examples of this relationship is the southwestern Pennsylvania Water Authority which entered into the partnership with Vantage Energy during the current year for the project of the construction of water mains and the expansion of the facility of water treatment. The project is worth $30 million.
According to the manager at Southwestern, Jack Golding, the deal is a good one and it is going to benefit the water author. Through this deal, the extension of the water deals is initiated which was not hoped to be extended. Besides that, the rates for the residential are lowered down as well.
Pennsylvania American Water has made the partnerships with the energy sector as well. Kathy Pape, the Senior Vice President demonstrated that initially the project was criticized and there were questions about its hitting to the reputation of the company as it was expected that it is going to be hurt due to the bad reputation of the shale gas drillers.
Pape told that now ten percent of the wells of shale statewide and 75 percent of them in Butler County are provided the water by Pennsylvania American Water.
Water companies will find the experience of working with natural gas companies appealing when the water utilities in the rural areas have the difficulty in getting the funds for the upgrading of their systems and their repairing.
Water infrastructure in rural areas is more costly in comparison with the cities. Small community water systems which serve less than 3300 persons need $64 billion to make the upgrading of the water infrastructure for the next 2 decades.
Those who are against the fracking process say that during the period of such drought condition when there is scarcity of water, this is not a good option of using this huge amount of water by the gas companies in shales as it is going to be dangerous step. According to the researchers, the fracking does not consume large quantity of water. It uses less than one percent of the total water which is even less than the consumption for agriculture and watering of the lawns.