Water UK Says Shale Gas Fracking Risks Can Be Mitigated

Water UK, which represents Britain’s public and private water and wastewater suppliers, says a report will be released “imminently” that concludes the risks from shale gas drilling can be mitigated.

“There are risks but they can all be mitigated” through monitoring and regulation, Neil Dhot, a spokesman in London, said today by telephone. The report, compiled by an independent consultant, is funded by the water industry, he said.

Protesters halted drilling this summer at a site in southern England over concerns about increased traffic, noise and contamination of a nearby aquifer from fracking, which blasts a mix of water, sand and unspecified chemicals at high pressure to force natural gas from subsoil shale rock.

The U.K. government has encouraged the drilling despite fears of water contamination and earth tremors in a quest for new, cheaper sources of energy amid declining reserves from the North Sea.

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