Water, particularly fresh water, is a critical resource for our environment, economy, and livelihood. The oil and natural gas industry is committed to responsibly managing and protecting fresh water. While our industry does use water during various phases of the oil and gas life cycle, total consumption accounts for approximately one percent of all fresh water used in America annually, compared to 51 percent for thermoelectric power generation and 29 percent for irrigation.7 The industry works to reduce operational consumption of fresh water even further by using reclaimed water from operations or treating and recycling it for other purposes.
In each of Chevron’s operating areas, our business units are working to reduce freshwater use and increase recycling and beneficial reuse. For example, in our Marcellus operations, where Chevron uses water for hydraulic fracturing operations, more than 90 percent of the fracturing flowback fluid and produced water is treated and recycled or reused.8 In Kern County, CA, where most oil fields produce water as a byproduct, Chevron provides 67 percent of this produced water as a safe, treated water supply for farmers to use for crop irrigation. In downstream, our Richmond Refinery is a leader in reclaimed water use in the San Francisco Bay region, with approximately 60 percent of water drawn from recycled sources. Richmond Refinery reclaimed water use frees up enough fresh water to supply up to 16,000 homes (46,000 people) on a daily basis.