Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter stated today that, “This week, the U.S. State Department will decide whether to grant final approval to the Keystone XL pipeline that would span almost 1700 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and transport oil mined from tar sands… The proposed pipeline would run through the depleted Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water to 82 percent of the people who live within its boundaries. About 20 percent of the nation’s irrigated agricultural land overlies the aquifer, and about 30 percent of the ground water used for irrigation in the U.S. is withdrawn from it. But in the last 50 years, water levels in the aquifer have dropped significantly, losing 65 trillion gallons of water in storage — enough to supply all the homes and businesses in Washington D.C. with drinking water for more than 1,000 years. If Secretary of State Hilary Clinton approves this project, the dwindling freshwater resources in the aquifer could be irreparably harmed. With over 2,500 pipeline accidents between 2,000 and 2009 alone in the U.S., the oil industry poses significant threats to critical water resources. We have seen nothing that shows that the federal government has the capacity to mitigate damage should the pipeline leak into this already depleted aquifer.”
Her full statement is at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/pressreleases/approval-of-keystone-xl-pipeline-is-risk-depleted-aquifer-can%E2%80%99t-afford/. Council of Canadians campaign blogs that note the threat of the Keystone pipeline to the Ogallala aquifer can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=keystone+%2B+ogallala.