The volume of water used every year in the United States to drill or extract natural gas is the equivalent of a city of five million people, a senior advisor for the UN Chief on the Sustainable Energy Initiative for All has warned.
The method known as fracking or hydraulic fracturing involves pumping gallons of water, sand and chemicals into tiny wells in the rock at high pressure, which leads to the release of the oil or natural gas.
Elizabeth Thompson told Anzhelika Devis that in addition to water stress and water scarcity, there are significant environmental risks associated with the method.
Ms Thompson was speaking on the sidelines of a debate organized by the United Nations Academic Impact and the Council on Foreign Relations.
She began by explaining why fracking has become so popular in the United States.