Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking for short, is the process of pumping water and other materials at high pressure into the earth, to crack rock underground and allow oil and natural gas to flow.
And in a part of the country where water is scarce, just how much is this industry using? According to Todd Lovett, a local petroleum engineer, his company uses about 500,000 gallons per well, drilling 60-70 wells in a year.
"There certainly is a concern about using fresh water for fuel. You know, it's like using food for fuel," Lovett said.
But, local water experts say, other sources use much more.
"Municipal and agriculture are my two biggest users in our district. Oil and gas quite frankly is a distant third," C.E. Williams, General Manager of the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District said.
But Williams and others do have questions about fracking, and they're taking steps to get answers about declines in the aquifers.
"We assume that it's from that, but we don't know for sure," Williams said, "Starting in 2013, we're going to require the reporting of oil and gas water use."
Fracking has received criticism in other parts of the country for contaminating water sources. The Environmental Protection Agency is doing a nationwide study on fracking, and the organization is looking at the Barnett Shale in Texas' Wise County as one of its sites.
There are few concrete answers right now, but according to Lovett, fracking isn't a danger.
"The fresh water is at 600 feet below the surface. We're at 8,000 feet below the surface, so we're a mile and half away from the fresh water, Lovett said.