NEWS NOTES ON SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCES  Hydraulic Fracturing  What is hydraulic fracturing?“Hydraulic fracturing, informally referred to as “fracking,” is an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This process is intended to create new fractures in the rock as well as increase the size, extent, and connectivity of existing fractures. Hydraulic fracturing is a well-stimulation technique used commonly in low-permeability rocks like tight sandstone, shale, and some coal beds to increase oil and/or gas flow to a well from petroleum-bearing rock formations. A similar technique is used to create improved permeability in underground geothermal reservoirs.”More information may be found on the USGS Energy Resources web site at“The Energy Resources Program conducts research and assessments to advance the understanding of the Nation’s energy resources. We study processes critical to the formation, accumulation, occurrence and alteration of geologically based energy resources; prepare resource assessments; and evaluate the environmental and socioeconomic effects of energy resource occurrence, production and use.”  Hydraulic fracturing is closely connected to the use of water resources and water quality. “A form of hydraulic fracturing is also used in low permeability sediments and other tight subsurface formations to increase the efficiency of soil vapor extraction and other technologies used in remediating contaminated sites.” For more information see  A paper presented at the Water Environment Federation WEFTEC 2012 that gives details of the process can be found at