Texas is Fracked Update: Barnhart is Out of Water


Texas is Fracked

Beverly McGuire has lived in Barnhart, TX for more than thirty years. Like many Texans, she probably didn’t give fracking much thought before her town ran out of water. “The day that we ran out of water I turned on my faucet and nothing was there and at that moment I knew the whole of Barnhart was down the tubes,” she said in a Guardian interview last month, blinking back tears. “I went, ‘Dear God, help us.’ That was the first thought that came to mind.”

Despite those prayers, however, Texas has suffered years of sustained drought. On top of that, the oil and gas industry’s demand for water used in fracking are running down reservoirs and aquifers, and contaminating whatever’s left. Rapidly-increasing climate change is working against Texas’ cattle industry, as well, making things even worse for the people of West Texas towns like Barnhart, and any other towns in Briscoe, Burnet, or Comal counties.

As we reported last month, about 30 communities across West Texas could be out of water before the end of this year, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality‘s September 4th update to their drought report. As a nod to the commenters who doubted the veracity of that article because the facts came from “some chick expert” and I didn’t “name the towns”, here are a few of the towns listed as running out of water in “180 days”, “90 days”, and “45 days”. It’s not a complete list, nor does it tell the whole story, but the message is clear: fracking is killing Texas.

Here’s the list …

Tesxa Towns Running Out of Water

… and the key to the chart breaks down something like this …

  • E – Emergency – Could be out of water in 45 days or less.
  • P – Priority – Could be out of water in 90 days or less.
  • C – Concern – Could be out of water in 180 days or less.
  • W – Watch – Has greater than a 180 day supply of water remaining.


… here’s hoping the people of Texas wake up quickly enough to save part of their state, at least. If I know anything about Texans, though, the people of these towns are too busy burning science books and clutching their shotguns while praying for rain and blaming the black guy. Possibly also the Mexicans. Texas kind of has it coming, is my point. Glenda Kuykendall, I think, may be the best example of Texan cluelessness so far, saying “We are in the United States, in American, where this should not happen.”

Sorry, Glenda. You seem to misunderstand the notion of “consequences”. We reap what we sow.

You can watch the Guardian’s interview of Glenda and Beverly and the rest of the Beverly Hillbillies West Texas gang start to turn on each other and start blaming the problem on the farmers that have private wells in the video, below. Enjoy!


Sources: the Guardian, NPR.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • your mom

    She probably forgot to pay the water bill, early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

    • She might have. How do you explain the other people living in those 36 towns running out of water? Idiots tend to have explanations for things, I’m sure you have plenty.

      • your mom

        Your explanation suffices.

        • I’m not sure you get how this works. When I point to your explanation and call you an idiot, pointing back at your own explanation by proxy is calling yourself an idiot.

          It’s like when your mom calls you a “son of a b****”. It’s funny, because the insult is directed back at her.

          Maybe you don’t understand that, either. Hm … how to reach you. Maybe puppets? Like, would a sock puppet help?

          • your mom

            I’ll talk to your mom about it tonight, she might not be able to answer though.

          • Dewayne Curry

            Love the your mom response. Unfortunately the professional troll in little girl journalist clothes(Jo) is not smart enough to see the double ironies and sarcasm you are tossing at him. Your previous comment about breast fed into teens is probably right… Who names their kid Jo and spells it that way, really?

          • Tough talk from someone named “Dewayne”. 😀

  • UncleB

    Chinese, scalable safe, clean Thorium reactors to the rescue to pump water, purify water de-salinate water?

  • Wiggletoes

    I’m a black guy originally from Texas with deep oil industry roots on most sides of the family but the stereotype of the ignorant Texan is mistaken. Texas is a relatively rich state that currently has the country swimming in energy due to Texas extremely high technology drilling (try working under 3 miles of saltwater/rock). Texas is a major wind producer with much more to come when an interconnection is built between the Texas grid and the rest of the US.
    LBJ explained to the whole country that, “we shall overcome” long before it was popular and somehow got the Civil Rights Acts out of Congress and signed them yet they may cling to their faith more than most but just because someone is a little different, doesn’t make them a fool. They sell energy; that what they do and they do it well.

    • Black, white, blue, or green, I bet the Kool Aid tastes the same. Have fun swimming in it while you poison your fellow Texans and mortgage our children’s future. After that, I hope you drink some of that contaminated water.

    • shecky vegas

      You’re not black. No black man calls himself “wiggletoes”.
      I mean, seriously…

  • gendotte

    Gee, maybe you should ask your Governor to help. He is so for the peepul over industry.

    • High-five for epic response and Texas-correct spelling.

  • Barnett shale production looks to be decreasing, they only drilled 800 new wells last year when they should have drilled 1,500 just to maintain production….


    • Unless the new wells are bigger? Might be another sign of the bubble bursting. http://gas2.org/2013/08/21/is-the-fracking-bubble-about-to-burst/

      • They usually drill the large and easy deposits first. I’m guessing the average well production is dropping too… We’ll see what happens in North Dakota in about 2 years…

        • Low-hanging fruit? I feel like that’s not accurate in the US, though – the energy people I’ve talked to in my other life as a toy vendor to the mega-rich brag about “sitting on” big reserves and talk about “after OPEC” and things like they’re expecting to run foreign oil dry, then jack up the prices on their reserves. Maybe that’s just my cynicism coloring what I hear … but, well, there it is.

          • they said the same thing before and after the states hit the conventional oil peak in 1970…. not many say we’re sitting on cheap easy oil anymore… took a few decades to sink it.

  • Cou Rouge

    Why can’t you get your point across without stereotyping and insulting so many people? I’ll never read another one of your articles.

    • shecky vegas

      I can explain that –
      Because the backwards rednecks who generally populate these areas put little to no faith in science, foresight, or skepticism. Some dill-hole in a shiny suite flashes five bucks under their nose, invokes the name Jesus, and has their bloated, corrupt leaders tell them everything is gonna be all right. Like mindless sheep, they nod and smile and never question why things don’t go as promised and then stand in line like grinning idiots with their hands out the next time the carnival comes to town. They never ask why the air is black, the water is brown, and why all their kids have leukemia.
      I, unfortunately, come from such an retard-rich area of this country and can turn a critical eye to such people with ease. They never look for other outlets of news or world information except what their pastors or councilmen tell them. They regurgitate in closed circles conspiracy theories as to why their lives suck, but never look inward. It’s always someone else’s fault and if they can find some ridiculous reason to blame blacks, Jews, gays, women, Mexicans, liberals, the East Coast, the West Coast, Arabs, or anyone “different”, well, that’s all the better for them. And all the better for those leaders who push those buttons come every election year on the promise of “taking back the country.”
      Stereotypes may be insulting, Cou Rouge, but they often have basis in reality. And until people such as that wake up, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

    • Wait a minute, she is literally praying for water IN THE VIDEO. Texas is actually doing that. That’s their PLAN. At the same time they’re praying for more water, these clowns are actively voting FOR bills, laws, and policies that make it easier for oil and gas companies to destroy what little water they have … and *I* am the one perpetuating stereotypes!?


      Man, seriously. You should do stand-up.

      • your mom

        You do get offended like everytime someone comments. Maybe you were breastfed till your teens or Uncle Ben taught you how to dance behind the barn IDK but you gotta get over it dude and learn to take some criticism.

        • Nah.

          Seriously, though, you’re a horrible s***bag.

      • Dewayne Curry

        You really are pathetic. Try doing some research on the education levels coming out of rural states and counties. Those poor rednecks are smarter and harder working than you pathetic welfare city trolls. You are not even smart enough to qualify as a yellow journalist. didn’t they teach you in socialist school (er journalism school) to do research. How about some info on where the water has been going for the last decade or more in west Texas. Agriculture, drought and over grazing are factors. Fracking is a fairly new problem. Maybe if you put your little pea brain to work you could get some data on water usage in those areas. But gee that would not serve your purpose of exaggerating one aspect of a problem and insulting people to make your little self feel big. And FYI I am not from Texas or for fracking. I just find you really offensive, incompetent, and biased.

        • Just checked: Texas is 39th out of 51, overall, and severely dragging in the low 40s (again, out of 51) when it comes to math and science.

          Have fun researching stuff. If you’re from one of these areas, however, I’d be willing to bet you have some trouble with that.

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