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Report: Oilsands Recycling More Water From Tailings Ponds

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Report: Oilsands Recycling More Water From Tailings Ponds


A new report from the Alberta Energy Regulator shows oilsands are recycling more water.

Last week, the AER highlighted water usage in different sites and in 2016, companies reused 80 per cent of water from their tailings ponds.

One company well above the average is Syncrude who reused 87 per cent in 2017.

Media Relations Officer Will Gibson tells Mix News they try to raise the number each year.

“We understand the public expects us to provide energy in a responsible way and this includes increasing the efficiency in our water use.”

He notes in 2017 they withdrew around 36.4 million cubic metres from the Athabasca River for their production operations and about another million cubic metres of basal groundwater for their Aurora plant operations.

AER’s report also suggests many companies are finding unique ways to be more environmentally responsible.

“We’re working on identifying and implementing processes and technologies to reduce our net water use from the Athabasca River,” added Gibson.

Some of the projects Syncrude is working on include using 260,000  cubic metres from reverse osmosis units and a new recovery project in their hydrogen plant which saved around 750,000 cubic metres of water.

As oilsands companies continue to increase their reusable numbers, Gibson says it will be impossible to get anywhere near 100 per cent as employees will also need water for drinking, showers, and more.

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