Almost half the world’s population will be living under severe water stress by 2030 according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Economic growth and a rising population are increasing the demand for water, while changing conditions, quality degradation and regulation may affect supply. As a result, water use is receiving increased public attention, especially in regions of water scarcity and limited public water infrastructure. ConocoPhillips recognizes that water management is an important worldwide issue. Water is critical to the sustainability of our business, and we recognize the need to manage freshwater usage responsibly, with consideration for communities, consumers and the environment.
In many regions, oil, gas and water naturally exist together under the earth’s surface. When produced through a well they mix and must be separated for processing into products. On a daily basis, ConocoPhillips produces and manages much more water than oil, and this water typically must be treated before it can be used or disposed. Although water is a globally important issue, the impacts on freshwater supply and water quality can be very local in nature, so building local awareness, skills, and sustainable practices at an asset level is crucial to our commitment to successful water management.
ConocoPhillips strives to manage water in an environmentally sound and socially responsible manner, while cost-effectively addressing the short-term and long-term water related risks to our businesses. Our recent focus has been on developing a risk-based water strategy, driven by individual business units, and focusing on assets where fresh water is scarce or effluent quality is challenged. Our water sustainability position states our commitment to developing management practices that conserve and protect freshwater resources and enhance the efficiency of water usage at our facilities.
The objective of our water strategy is to improve how the company manages water. The ConocoPhillips corporate water strategy includes the following commitments:
- Meet our public commitment to conserve, protect, measure and monitor freshwater usage.
- Optimize expenses and minimize risks by focusing water assessment on assets that have the greatest impact.
Identify and develop opportunities linked to successful water management systems at a local level, and then apply this knowledge to our assets.
- Develop and implement technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the company’s water footprint.
- Utilize the company’s Research and Development resources including the Qatar Water Sustainability Center to drive technology advances.
We assess, measure and monitor our freshwater usage. Based on these assessments, we then manage our water consumption and discharge in an environmentally responsible manner. ConocoPhillips continues to improve data collection related to our freshwater use around the globe. The key elements of our approach are illustrated in the following diagram. Click on the appropriate box below to learn more about each topic.