Produced Water Report: Regulations, Current Practices, and Research Needs

The GWPC released a 'Produced Water Report' on June 24, 2019, that examines current regulations, practices, and research needed to expand the use of produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, as a resource.

Led by its member states, the GWPC brought together a collaboration of scientists, regulatory officials, members of academia, the oil and gas industry, and environmental groups to explore roles produced water might play in developing greater water certainty. The report consists of three focused modules which include:

  • Module 1: Current Legal, Regulatory & Operational Frameworks
  • Module 2: Produced Water Reuse in Unconventional Oil & Gas Operations
  • Module 3: Produced Water Reuse & Research Needs Outside Oil & Gas Operations

Freshwater stress is driven by rising populations, regional droughts, declining groundwater levels and several other factors. When surface water is scarce, communities and industries typically turn to groundwater to meet their freshwater needs.  Produced water may become a resource that could reduce the use of freshwater for some of these needs in specific locations.  

Report Modules

The Produced Water Report is comprised of three modules that examine produced water from different approaches. The electronic PDF of the report is available for download below, as well as the report broken into different pieces. 

Full Report (June 2019)

Preface and Introduction

Executive Summary

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

This module describes the current legal and regulatory frameworks that address produced water. It also addresses changes that may need to occur to facilitate the use of produced water.

Leadership:
John Baza, Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining
Shellie Chard: Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

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

This module describes the current uses and potential future uses of produced water inside unconventional oil and gas operations. It defines the existing constraints of use and identifies the opportunities and challenges of expanded use.

Leadership:
Tom Kropatsch: Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
Scott Kell: Ohio Division of Oil & Gas Resources

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

This module describes current and potential use of produced water outside oil and gas operations and identifies the research needs that will need to be addressed to facilitate expanded use.

Leadership:
Ken Harris: California Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources
Nichole Saunders: Environmental Defense Fund

Appendixes