INFOGRAPHIC: Reducing the Water Footprint of Shale Development
Shale development is often scrutinized for the amount of water it uses, though rarely in the proper context. Not only is it key to keep in mind perspective on how this water usage compares to the nation’s overall water use as well as the water needs of various other industries, oil and natural gas producers are also actively looking to reduce their overall water footprint. As the Associated Press recently reported, “Recycling is rapidly becoming a popular and economic solution for a burgeoning industry.”
This trend is occurring across the county, from enhancing recycling technologies to reducing the amount of water needed in operations. In Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale region, the Tribune Review reported in 2013 that “across the state, more than 90 percent of the water that flows back to the surface during the hydraulic fracturing process is recycled for reuse at other wells, according the state Department of Environmental Protection.”
Over in Colorado, WPX Energy alone has recycled “close to 100 percent of the water the company used in fracking operations for new wells.” According to Tyler Bittner, an engineer with the company, that’s enough water to grow 769 acres of corn. And down in Texas, a state that is helping to lead the nation in energy output, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick recently stated that the “importance of water conservation and scrutiny over water usage continues to grow, and the industry is doing their part in conserving this precious resource.”
From implementing closed loop systems to increasing recycling, check out EID’s new infographic — Reducing the Water Footprint of Shale Development – to learn more about what the oil and gas industry is doing to reduce its water footprint.