The oil and the gas industry has gotten involved in a lot of water recycling projects recently, primarily because several drought issues and waste challenges have risen. These must be appropriately dealt with so that the industry does not experience a downtime or suffer substantial productivity losses.
In the recent past, there has been very little rain; the grasses have yellowed, the soils have cracked and the oil drillers have to face a lot of crisis. Previously, they have always had increased water supplies at affordable costs, but this is not so anymore and the petroleum regions are drying up.
A couple of years ago, the drought that did threaten the economy of the country, related to hydraulic fracturing. This is a drilling method that requires excessive amounts of high pressure water to free up the natural gas and oil that is trapped below the ground. With the shortage of water, this was starting to appear a problem, but now drillers have started to recycle water.
A representative of the water industry stated that this change in practices is quite dramatic in the sense that the industry previously considered these recycling systems to be inefficient. His company recycles water for an oil firm that has set an aim for not using freshwater for hydraulic cracking, and they are now using 90% recycled water.
Previously the oil industry had a suspicion that the water recycling sector just wanted them to suffer substantial losses and were marketing unproven ideas. Their perspectives have now changed, and they are using these same systems to achieve their purposes with only limited quantities of freshwater, and recycling all the wastewater produced. The march towards this new technology is taking place at a very rapid place, and for some organizations, it may be a little difficult to keep up with it.
The process of fracking requires many thousands gallons of relatively clean water. For every drilled well, about 20% percent water appears back on the surface, but this is contaminated with drilling chemical and other metallic ions. In the past, this water was dumped into underground wells as waste, but it is being recycled by different methods. The most common of these is to charge water, which separates the waste particles.
The water recycling industry is excited about this new prospect because it means profits for them.