Regulators Let Oil Companies Gulp California's Dwindling High-Quality Water

"California’s oil industry uses hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater a year in a state with none to spare. Most of that water is used in Kern County, where communities have long lacked affordable, safe drinking water."

"Last month, with California in the grips of a megadrought, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan centered on “the acute need to conserve water” in the face of a drier, hotter future caused by climate change. The plan outlines actions to “transform water management” and calls on California residents to step up and do their part to conserve water.

Yet the plan does nothing to limit use of California’s dwindling water supplies by one of the primary drivers of climate change: the oil and gas industry.  

An Inside Climate News analysis of data collected by the California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, shows high-quality water is being diverted from state domestic and agricultural supplies, predominantly in Kern County, to extract viscous crude from some of the world’s most climate-polluting oilfields."

Liza Gross and Peter Aldhous report for Inside Climate News September 18, 2022.

Source: Inside Climate News, 09/19/2022