Glass Half Empty: An American Water War

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Monday, February 17 • 9 p.m.

America – a country once dependent on foreign energy is now poised to be one of the world's leading suppliers of natural resources. For years, we’ve thought we would eventually run out of oil and now we find ourselves with at least a 100-year supply of natural gas.

It's a boom that has millions of people across America talking,  but some are talking about how the drilling procedures could be putting another vital resource in danger – water.

Northeastern Pennsylvania, home to the Marcellus Shale, one of the richest gas deposits the world has ever known, is at the center of the debate.

Communities are divided over the water that some won't drink since the natural gas industry came to town. Some believe their water has been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, but others say the water was impacted long before drilling ever took place. 

It's a debate that's changed lives and even broken up homes.

Produced by Taylor Mirfendereski, WOUB-TV will present “Glass Half Empty: An American Water War” Monday, February 17 at 9 p.m., a personal look inside the lives of six ordinary families from small Pennsylvania towns who are now the stars of this nationwide debate.

Their stories begin in February 2012. WOUB traveled to two Northeastern Pennsylvania counties and followed the families over the course of 15 months. They'd enter legal battles with corporate giants, have seemingly endless meetings with state and federal officials, depend on filtration systems that don't always work and try to sell their homes when the homes themselves are at risk.

The American water war has just begun.