Farmers in a Drought Sell Their Water to the Fracking Industry
The ongoing drought in the Southwest is predicted to ease in New Mexico, yet persist in already-parched Texas, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Drought Outlook. But any relief for New Mexico (95 percent of which has been under severe drought conditions for most of this year) is dimmed by reports that some of the state’s farmers have been selling their water to the oil and gas industry to use for fracking.
Desperate to pay their bills, some farmers in New Mexico’s southeastern Eddy County have been selling the water from their supplementary wells to oil and gas companies, says the Albuquerque Journal. More public notices are being posted about water-rights holders seeking to have the purpose of a supplemental well changed from agricultural to commercial, or even to transfer the right to it.