An even more worrying quote from that Independent
He says: “Contrary to popular belief it’s not hydraulic fracturing itself that causes the majority of increased seismic activity; it is the disposal of billions of gallons of contaminated water that is used in the fracking process that causes geological instability.
“We haven’t seen a major water-induced quake in the United States yet, but we have seen them in China and in Russia. If that water is just pumped back into the ground, as most of it is, increased seismic activity is virtually a guaranteed outcome.”
After reading this you wonder why the Tories are still so keen to support fracking. However, it is never as simple as this when there are huge individual fortunes to be made. The billionaire Koch brothers will simply finance alternative studies that will ridicule any link between fracking and earthquakes. This means that when local communities have to try to decide for themselves whether or not to allow fracking, they are inevitably faced with a bewildering array of surveys and claims, all contradicting each other. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers#Think_tanks_and_political_organizations
A corollary of pumping contanimated water into the ground would logically be the threat of pollution of local drinking water supplies. Moreover, the fracking companies would presumably be drawing their water from those same limited local supplies, thereby exacerbating any existing water shortage issues. Most of us will surely recall the increasingly desperate situation at this time of year in 2012, when parts of the UK were suffering from chronic water shortages after a prolonged dry spell:
That episode exposed the country's worrying lack of infrastructure for dealing with acute water shortages in certain regions and a heavy over-reliance on groundwater supplies. Imagine what will happen if we face a similar long-term drought in the future in areas where fracking activity has not only consumed a lot of the existing underground supply but possibly polluted what still remains...