KINGFISHER, Okla. - On the high plains of northwest Oklahoma, oil is big business. But, fracking operations need water to work, and some rural Kingfisher residents say some land owners are pumping more than their fair share of well water to sell to oil companies.
"Well, I’m very concerned that all the water will be gone, and we won’t have any to give to the cows," said rancher Michael Kordis.
"I'm very concerned it will deplete the water table and run all of our wells dry," said Kingfisher resident, Kim Degust.
Some Kingfisher farmers and ranchers say hundreds of acres have been bought north of their property. They say the new owner plans to drill 29 new wells.
Farmers say he is parceling pieces together all over the county and is going to pump more than the legal limit from the area close to them. They claim the owner could pump as much as 4x more than allowed from a specific sweet spot.
"If they suck it all out, it's liable to take hundreds of thousands of years to get that water back in the ground," said Herbert Kordis.
News 4 talked to the land owner. He didn’t want to go on camera, but sent pictures of the property, pointing out plenty of standing water, and the water table is not being depleted. He also sent us all the paperwork pointing out that all of his proper permits have been filed and the hydrology report that backs his claims.
Residents say they aren’t concerned about pumping water from area ponds and rivers because those are renewable. But, when you tap into clean ground water, that's the real problem.
There will be a preliminary hearing on the matter at 9 a.m. Friday morning at the Oklahoma Water Resource Board in Oklahoma City.