Full Title: Produced Water: Asset or Waste?
Author(s): Blythe Lyons
Publisher(s): Atlantic Council
Publication Date: 05/2014
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The outlook for US oil and gas production impacts the United States’ geopolitical strategy. On the domestic front, realization of the potential for self-sufficiency, if not outright independence, will depend on public acceptance. This acceptance, in turn, will be predicated on industry’s success in developing integrated and sustainable water management practices. Water is key to unleashing domestic energy resources, especially the “unconventionals.”
This report is one of several in the Council’s Energy and Water Nexus Initiative series. The three major goals of this initiative are to promote sustainable policies with common sense recommendations, clarify the terms of the debate with fact-based information, and provide a gateway for the public and policy makers to experts and additional information.
Over the past five years, the Council has addressed several areas of the nexus, including electricity production, fuels extraction, and the municipal water sector. Today, the Council is focusing on an intersecting issue that both the energy and water industries can work on together: how to promote sustainable strategies for recycling and finding beneficial uses for produced water from oil and gas production.
The Council convened its “Produced Water: Asset or Waste?” workshop on June 24-25, 2013, to provide the energy
and water industries with an opportunity to identify sustainable water use plans and technologies to meet the
needs for treating produced water. Both industries were asked to discuss policy and regulatory recommendations
that would encourage best practices. Other key stakeholders and experts discussed market opportunities and the
investment outlook. The audience heard many different perspectives from Capitol Hill to organizations working on
unique produced water projects. By holding forums with experts and stakeholder groups, the Council aims to both
educate and encourage dialogues that can lead to solutions.