The battle over fracking isn't lightening up. A new connection made between getting to the underground oil reserves and a precious resource: water.
The concern of some US conservationists and farmers is that hydraulic fracturing uses groundwater in the process of getting oil from deep underneath the earth's surface.
While fracking is not approved yet here on the Central Coast, it is occurring in states like Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming.
The Associated Press compiled a connection between the fracking locations and NOAA's current drought map of the nation.
Many of the states which currently allow fracking are also under severe drought conditions.
According to the Associated Press, this is fueling water fights between farmers and oil companies in the MidWest and the South.
Fracking typically consumes less water than farming but it is driving up the price of water in certain drought stricken areas.
The Central Coast already has water supply concerns. Rivers are starting to run dry and reservoir levels will be critical if we face another dry winter.
Oil companies are pressing for further exploration of Monterey Shale, a 1,750 square mile area extending from the Central Valley to the Pacific Ocean.
Federal energy officials say it could ultimately make up two thirds of the nation's shale oil reserves.