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Water

Protecting water resources is a priority for Canada’s oil and natural gas industry.

Canadians place a high value on the country’s freshwater resources. They want to know the industry is using water responsibly and managing impacts on water use, quality and availability. Canada’s oil and natural gas industry safeguards water resources through efficient use and ensures appropriate systems are in place to minimize risks.

Responsible Water Use

Water use during oil and natural gas production is licensed through provincial regulators. Water withdrawals are reported to and monitored by provincial regulators to prevent water pollution and protect the integrity of natural water systems, especially during low flow periods or drought conditions.

Water Management in Unconventional Development

Water plays an important role in unconventional oil and natural gas development. When a well is drilled, water is used to cool and lubricate the drill bit, and to move rock cuttings away from the drill bit and up to the surface. If the natural gas and oil trapped in the rock cannot flow easily to the surface, the well is completed with hydraulic fracturing that also uses large volumes of water.

Hydraulic Fracturing Water Usage

The volume of water used in hydraulic fracturing depends on the well and the geological formation. On average, a fracturing operation takes 5,000-30,000 cubic metres of water. Water is sourced from fresh surface water or groundwater, or alternative sources such as saline water, non-potable groundwater, flowback, produced water and municipal or industrial waste water.

Basil is Developing Water Saving Technology

The Water Technology Development Centre will allow operators to test drive more technologies, and to test those technologies faster than ever before.