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Implement water conservation practices for oil & gas extraction


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

6.Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

ETCH Procurement Process .png


•Collaborate with stakeholders: Work with relevant teams (Health, Safety and Environment; Sustainability; Operations) to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) to identify water usage in the extraction process and identify water intensive stages such as raw material extraction or refinement. Once the data on current water use and returns (produced water) is evaluated across the entire value chain, high-impact areas to employ water conservation initiatives can be identified.

•Evaluate costs: Work with stakeholder teams to identify the costs of current water usage and returns, such as disposal costs, equipment maintenance, etc. Also examine costs and benefits associated with switching to non-water technologies (e.g. foam based fracking or non-water cooling systems) or water efficient technologies (e.g. low-flow toilets in facilities and operational areas). Consider the feasibility of replacing high quality water with produced or recycled water and the equipment or water treatment technologies that might be needed for implementation.

Opportunity Identification 

Business: Reducing water consumption can lead to cost savings (reducing water, using recycled water, reduction in waste expenses) and strengthen relationships with local stakeholders

Sustainability: Water management can mitigate the risk of water scarcity or changes in regulation

Strategy Build & Execution

•After baseline assessment of water usage has been established, strategize with internal teams to determine which methods of water reduction (non-water technologies, water efficient technologies, circularity) are viable for current operations

•Help determine water reduction targets (e.g. percentage of water that is recycled or reused, ratio of water withdrawal and consumption per barrel of oil) and create a plan to collect and analyze water usage data to evaluate suppliers and measure against historical data

•Identify opportunities to collaborate with suppliers, research institutions and other stakeholders to identify and adopt conservation technology and methodologies

•Engage stakeholders at all levels: Communicate the benefits of water reuse and recycling techniques and address any concerns or risks that are raised. Help organize workshops, consultations, or committees to involve stakeholders in the decision-making process and to foster a sense of ownership. Participate in any necessary education or trainings to support implementation

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

•Work with existing suppliers to identify upgrades or maintenance for existing equipment to become less water intensive and evaluate the feasibility of using non-water technologies or lower quality water with current equipment

•Negotiate with suppliers where necessary to purchase water reduction technologies and consider incorporating compliance performance metrics for water conservation and compliance in RFPs

•Consider scalability and future needs: Assess suppliers' capacity to meet your organization's current and future water efficiency requirements, allowing for scalability and flexibility as your operations evolve.

Supplier Performance & Management

•Communicate new water reduction goals with new and existing suppliers and collaborate with them to incorporate performance metrics for equipment and technologies. Also, consider how to implement regular data collection and evaluation

•Evaluate supplier performance based on established KPIs for water conservation (e.g. the percentage decrease of water usage with water efficient technologies and processes, volume and performance of wastewater treatment, etc.) and work with suppliers to improve performance where necessary

•Where possible, look for products or suppliers with recognized water conservation certifications (e.g WaterSense, WELS, European Water Label) and identify suppliers committed to water conservation and sustainability and foster long-term partnerships

Resource Links

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