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Water use intensity varies by industry sector, with oil sands mining having the highest water use intensity. The volume of water used does not necessarily reflect operational efficiency. We consider nonsaline water use intensity as a measure of water use efficiency. Water use intensity is expressed as a ratio and represents the number of barrels of nonsaline water used to produce one barrel of oil equivalent (BOE).  

We regulate the energy industry’s use of water from Alberta water sources (i.e., surface water, groundwater, and surface runoff) to support energy development.   

We require oil and gas operators to reduce and recycle water in their operations as much as possible. We report annually on the industry’s water use in our Water Use Performance Report.  

Nonsaline water use intensity by extraction technology

Data is released annually in December.