One of the concerns critics of the oil industry have is water usage in Alberta and B.C. That is particularly true in shale gas plays where fracking is used to get at the resource. Shell Canada is looking at ways to alleviate that.
The company has a natural gas site called Groundbirch in northeastern B.C. To compensate for it’s heavy use of water, Shell Canada stepped up when the City of Dawson Creek went looking for ideas for a new waste water treatment plant.
Shell built the plant at a cost of $11-million (the city paid $1.5-million) and then attached a 48 kilometre water pipeline to take the treated water and use it at Groundbirch.
A company communications officer, Patty Richards says she hates to use a cliche, but believes this is a “win-win situation”, adding “it was because the first benefit for Dawson Creek, aside from the treatment plant, was that we took all these trucks off the road which really cut the noise, dust and traffic for local residents.”
The treated water sent to Groundbirch is used and recycled for reuse.
Shell has been able to make this plan work elsewhere as well – Edson and Fox Creek.