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Ground Water Protection Council releases report on produced water

water flowing from pipe water flowing from pipe

July 8, 2019

Led by its member states, the GWPC brought together scientists, regulatory officials, academicians, and members of environmental groups and the oil and gas industry to “explore roles produced water might play in developing greater water certainty.” Advisian, as a leader in water for upstream and midstream, played a major role in developing the report, with Michael Dunkel, Global Technology Leader for Upstream Water, serving on the leadership team and as primary author of Module 2.

The report, ‘Produced Water: Regulations, Current Practices & Research Needs,’ covers regulations, current practices, and research needs, identifying challenges and possible solutions to reuse limitations for produced water. It presents unique data, by basin, about the recycling percentage, water quality, and many other quantitative and qualitative aspects of water management throughout three modules:

Module 1: Current Legal, Regulatory, and Operational Frameworks of Produced Water Management

This module focuses on the multifaceted regulation of produced water, including long established federal laws and programs as well as areas where additional regulatory clarity may be needed to further advance the beneficial use or reuse of produced water. It also discusses the legal and operational aspects of produced water reuse such as ownership, water rights, liability, and standard practices. These topics define the framework under which produced water reuse may be accomplished and the challenges limiting its current implementation as a water source.

Module 2: Produced Water Reuse in Unconventional Oil and Gas Operations

This module presents information on how produced water is used within oil and gas operations, with a focus on unconventional operations. Through literature reviews, interviews with oil and gas companies, and data requests, information has been gathered on the current state of oil and gas operational reuse of produced water and on future potential reuse options and dynamics.

reuse percentage graph

Module 3: Produced Water Reuse and Research Needs Outside Oil and Gas Operations

The most forward-looking part of this report looks at current and needed research to properly and safely use produced water in applications outside oil and gas operations. It also discusses the range of reuse options currently available along with potential reuse options that may one day become practical. Produced Water Report: Regulations, Current Practices, and Research Needs.

Advisian and the GWPC hopes readers will find this report informative and useful. It offers a realistic assessment of the contribution produced water could make to the national water resource portfolio and state water planning efforts. This report offers a solid base for building upon and improving the knowledge and use of produced water. It is expected that ever-changing technology and statutory transformations will only further the use of produced water in the future.

Access the GWPC full report.

If you and your team would like a summary presentation including an interactive discussion, please contact Michael Dunkel, Global Technology Leader for Upstream Water.