A Meditation on Water, as read by Sandra Steingraber June 4, 2011, Binghamton NY.

Fracking makes water disappear.
This is worth thinking hard about.

Usually, when we say that water is being wasted,
because, say some misinformed soul
opens a car wash in the middle of the desert,
we  don’t mean that the water itself exists the water cycle…

Wasting water
may draw down a reservoir or deplete an aquifer,
but the water itself is merely transferred
to a different place on the proverbial wheel,
which is forever turning.

When you brush your teeth
water flows, via plumbing,
from a municipal well to a sewage treatment plant
and then heads down the river to somewhere else.
It’s not really gone,

Although the resulting depletion of aquifers
is nevertheless, a hugely serious problem.

When a farmer pumps groundwater
to irrigate a field,
the moisture enters the root hairs of crop plants,
exits the stomata of leaves,
rises as vapor to the clouds,
and comes back down as rain,
if not falling on the same watershed
from whence it came,
then maybe falling in another one
a couple of time zones away
or on all the ships at sea.

Conversely, what happens to water during fracking
is different to what happens to water when you  brush your teeth
and leave the tap on.

When a single well is fracked,
several million gallons of fresh water are removed from lakes & streams,
or from groundwater
aquifers and are entombed in deep geological strata,
up to a mile or more below the water table.

Once there, it is removed from water cycle:
As in: Forever.

It will no longer swirl with tadpoles
or ripple with fish.

It will no longer ascend into clouds,
freeze into snowflakes,
melt into rivulets,
cascade over rocks,
turn with the tides,
soak into soil,
rise through roots
or flow from your tap.

It will never again become
blood tears
sweat, urine, milk,
sap nectar, yolk,
honey, or the juice of a fruit.
It will never again float a leaf boat,
swell a bud, quench a thirst,
fill a swamp,
spill over an edge,
slosh dribble spray trickle
splash drip or glisten.

Never again, fog mist frost ice dew or rain.

It’s gone.

Not that you’d want it to come back;
it’s poisonous now.
Related posts:
  1. Fracking and Environmental Human Rights | Sandra Steingraber
  2. Living with a Contaminated Water, Well | Julie and Craig Sautner
  3. Gas Drilling Impacts on Drinking Water
  4. DEP Secretary John Hanger announces Dimock residents will be supplied water via a water pipeline
  5. Rally to Protect NY’s Water from Radioactive Hydrofracking