A national environmental group is denouncing the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District for what the eco-group calls the district's "flip flop" on water sales to drillers.
Food & Water Watch is unhappy that the Ohio watershed district intends to sell water from Clendening Reservoir and Piedmont Lake to drillers during the winter drawdown.
The district says about 6 billion gallons of water would be released to lower the two lakes for the winter, and it intends to sell a portion of that water drillers who need water to frack new wells.
The announcement came this week, after the district in June announced that it would not proceed with new water sales until a water availability study by the U.S. Geological Survey is completed. That study is still in process.
Food & Water Watch said it "denounces this move (new water sales) and calls on the district to protect Ohio's natural resources by retracting this most recent decision."
"How can the public trust that the distruct is looking our for its best interests when the district isn't keeping its word to temporarily halt water sales to the oil and gas industry?" it said.
It accused the district of "operating in a bubble."
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.