Regulations

Water use for natural gas development is regulated.

Water regulations

In Alberta, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) regulates the use of water for natural gas development. Operators must apply to the AER for a licence to withdraw surface water or groundwater for use in natural gas development.

Body Environmental Action Regulations Water Alberta Water Use by Sector

In British Columbia, water used for natural gas development is regulated by the BC Oil & Gas Commission (BCOGC).  A short-term use approval is typically issued for water withdrawal for hydraulic fracturing operations, which gives permission to withdraw surface water or groundwater for a maximum of 12 months. This is also the case in Alberta where it is called a temporary diversion licence (TDL).

Body Environmental Action Regulations Water B.C. Run-off Volumes

In both Alberta and B.C., operators are required to report water withdrawals to the regulator and monitor the water source to ensure they are sustainable. The regulator may suspend water withdrawals to protect the integrity of the water system during low flow periods or drought.

WATER GLOSSARY

Flowback:

Fracturing fluid that flows back to the wellbore after hydraulic fracturing is completed.

Groundwater:

Water contained in underground natural aquifers.

Produced Water:

Water naturally present or injected into the reservoir to enhance production that< flows back to the surface.

Surface Runoff:

Water from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle.

Surface Water:

Water collected on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATER USE IN NATURAL GAS DEVELOPMENT

MANAGING WATER USE RESPONSIBLY

Canada’s natural gas industry works to protect water during sourcing, use, transportation and disposal.

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