Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: RT reports that some of the most drought-ravaged areas of the US are also heavily targeted for oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing — a practice that exacerbates water shortages with half of the oil and gas wells fracked across America since 2011 located in places suffering through drought. Taken together, all the wells surveyed from January 2011 to May 2013 consumed 97 billion gallons of water, pumped under high pressure to crack rocks containing oil or natural gas. Up to 10 million gallons can go into a single well. "Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country's most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions," says Mindy Lubber. "Barring stiffer water-use regulations and improved on-the-ground practices, the industry's water needs in many regions are on a collision course with other water users, especially agriculture and municipal water use." Nearly half (47%) of oil and gas wells recently hydraulically fractured in the U.S. and Canada are in regions with high or extremely high water stress. Amanda Brock, head of a water-treatment firm in Houston, says oil companies in California are already exploring ways to frack using the briny, undrinkable water found in the state's oil fields. While fracking consumes far less water than agriculture or residential uses, the impact can be huge on particular communities and is "exacerbating already existing water problems," says Monika Freyman. Hydraulic fracking is the "latest party to come to the table," says Freyman. The demands for the water are "taking regions by surprise," she says. More work needs to be done to better manage water use, given competing demand.