California’s oil and gas industry is a net supplier of water. According to the California Council on Science and Technology, hydraulic fracturing requires an estimated 320 million gallons of water in the state annually. 98% of that water is recycled “produced water” taken from inside the oil field during hydrocarbon recovery.
Most produced water is put back underground where it came, but some is treated for beneficial reuse. Through this process, California’s oil and natural gas industry provides several billion gallons of water a year to agriculture. So, in fact, the oil and gas industry is a net supplier of water in the state of California. If enhanced oil recovery and hydraulic fracturing stopped today, the state would be even worse off in the drought.