The actual point of concern from fracking is not about the fluids, the water, or any of the bullshit you see people ranting about. The problem is that they are re-using old wells which were drilled a long time ago, and those wells go through the water table and natural aquifers in many cases. Those old wells tend to have shoddy and/or degraded casings (the walls of the wells are lined usually with some type of concrete or metal tubing to prevent them from collapsing), so when they are pumping the shit down the well they can tend to leak somewhat.
Well put. It's important to realize that by the very nature of there being trapped gas, that means that there is at least one (generally several) layers of highly impermiable cap rock above the natural gas, so thick and durable that they've contained a highly-mobile gas for millions of years (despite earthquakes and the like), all of which is several kilometers down - versus the groundwater which is a couple dozen to a couple hundred meters down. Creating cracks a couple dozen centimeters long several kilometers well below the cap rock down has essentially no effect on the leak rate from the reservoir up through *kilometers* of rock (which would take ages for anything they're injecting now to reach anyway). The problem is the well, which by its very nature must pierce through each layer on its way down - including your groundwater layers. Even new wells aren't perfect (as we well know). Reusing old wells is a recipie for leaks.
The solution to water shortages isn't to cry about frakking, it's to start advancing our de-salinization technology
I don't know... desalinization generally takes crazy amounts of energy to produce enough for agriculture, just by the very nature of the energy state of saltwater versus fresh. There is one concept I read about a few years back which I thought was pretty clever that might work around that, though - it was to use open evaporation pools to create super-saline water and to have it flow past two ion-specific membranes (one for negative ions, the other for positive) connecting to adjacent pools, creating a salt gradient pressure into those pools. Each of those pools in turn have their opposite ion-specific membrane connected to a final regular-saltwater pool. For an ion to follow the diffusion gradient and leave the super-saturated pool into an adjacent pool, that adjacent pool must suck an opposite ion from the final saltwater pool - which it will do if the gradient from the super-saturated pool is strong enough. The final pool stays balanced because ions are being lost to each adjacent pool. Eventually the final saltwater pool will become freshwater.
That which I find really neat about this concept is that it doesn't use electricity beyond basic water pumps and the like - the energy powering it is simply evaporation of seawater, which is ridiculously easy to achieve in many desert locations. In many places a mere jetty is enough to turn hundreds of square miles of ocean into an evaporation pool. The challenge is of course mass production of sufficient flow rate ion-selective membranes and keeping them from clogging.