IPIECA attended World Water Week in Stockholm from 23-28 August. Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the conference has now been running 25 years and is seen as the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. This is the fourth year that IPIECA has organised a session as part of the World Water Week conference programme. This year’s IPIECA event was titled “Oil & Gas Sector Water Management: from now to 2030” and focused on IPIECA’s visioning of future water management risks. The session was introduced by IPIECA’s Executive Director Brian Sullivan and chaired by Alistair Wyness (BP), chair of IPIECA’s Water Working Group. The session featured a mixture of presentations and panel discussion, presenters/panellists were:
- Paul Reig, World Resources Institute. Future Water Challenges: Understanding Future Water Supply and Demand
- Amy Emmert, American Petroleum Institute. American Energy: New Perspectives on the Shale Energy-Water Nexus
- Marielle Canter Weikel, Conservation International. Future Direction of the Oil and Gas Sector in Management Water Resources: NGO Perspective
- Alfio Mianzan, Shell. Water Management at Shell: Global issues – Local solutions
The discussions that arose from the presentations focused on four main areas:
- The need for better data to understand water risks and constraints, and the need for all industry (including oil & gas) to be more transparent;
- The need for collaboration, both globally to develop practices and locally to share water resources more effectively;
- How technology will be an important contributor to reducing fresh water withdrawals and consumption and to increased water availability through produced water reuse;
- The economics of water use, the risks and the solutions (a key theme throughout the week).
In terms of the conference as a whole, IPIECA’s key takeaways are as follows:
- A large amount of focus was placed on two global upcoming milestones: 1) The ratification of the Sustainable Development Goals, of which water is a key goal and linked to many others and 2) The upcoming COP-21 negotiations in Paris, where it was felt the importance of water needed to be reflected in the negotiations
- From an industry/business point of view, the conference was encouraging. Water management for industry is becoming an increasingly important issue across many sectors, which was reflected by increased industry attendance. Indeed IPIECA and its members’ attendance is contributing to the oil & gas industry being seen to be active and transparent on water issues.
- Water Value is a current hot topic across many sectors (industry, NGOs, investors, government) – valuing water appropriately to aid decision making, to value risks etc.
- Water stewardship, as advocated by CEO Water Mandate and NGOs, remains an area that very few industries are involved in, but tools continue to be developed and enhanced.
- Remote sensing is seen as an essential area to be developed, to increase understanding and lower costs.
Presentations from the IPIECA session are available to download here