Report Calls for Oil & Gas, Utilities Industries to Boost Wastewater Reuse
It says the oil and gas industry can substantially increase water reuse by mirroring the success of countries such as Canada, where regulations mandate water reuse and limit fresh water acquisition for oil sands operations.
Marking UN World Water Day, Barclays Bank PLC and the Columbia Water Center have released the second report of the Impact Series from the Barclays Social Innovation Facility, a report titled "The Water Challenge: Preserving a Global Resource." It explores the extent of the water challenge and how oil and gas operators, the utility industry, and governments can become more efficient and sustainable in managing water.
This year's World Water Day theme was "Wastewater," and the report examines how companies can apply best practices and new technologies to reuse or recycle the wastewater they create. "Water scarcity is an enormous and undeniable challenge for both society and the environment but also presents an opportunity for sustainable investment," said Zachary Sadow, energy equity research analyst at Barclays. "The water challenge report demonstrates the crucial need for investment in water-related technologies and infrastructure that enable oil and gas operators, the utility industry, and governments to treat wastewater effectively as a resource. Ultimately, the companies that can reduce freshwater usage and costs will be best positioned for an uncertain water future."
"Because the water, energy and utility industries are so deeply interconnected, improved water management is crucial to companies' supply chains and futures," added Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center. "By examining industry growth and analyzing data on water consumption by industry, research in [the report] identifies sustainable and efficient solutions that protect our resources by reducing both energy and water usage."
Key findings of the report include these:
- The oil and gas industry can substantially increase water reuse by mirroring the success of countries such as Canada, where regulations mandate water reuse and limit fresh water acquisition for oil sands operations.
- U.S. government research and development for new technologies and funding of crucial accounting agencies represent critical public-sector functions to complement private sector investment and initiatives.
- Policy and economics will be the biggest drivers of innovation for power and water utilities.
- The infrastructure crisis in the water utility industry needs immediate attention.
The Barclays Social Innovation Facility is a catalyst for the development of innovative products and services that deliver both an ongoing commercial return and a sustained social impact. It was launched in 2012 and is part of the firm's Shared Growth Ambition.