Purpose and Progress
Husky’s internal Water Standard provides for responsible water use. The Company details its water risk management approach and metrics in annual submissions to the CDP Water Program. Responsible water use is enhanced by employing technology and collaborative management strategies.
In considering a water source for its operations, Husky evaluates risks, including reliability, sustainability, quality, technical feasibility, net environmental effect, economics, and regulatory and stakeholder concerns. Where risks are identified, mitigation plans are developed.
Husky continues to improve its ability to track water metrics across all business units using its Environmental Performance Reporting System. The Company participates in a number of national and international programs that help drive better measurement and transparency of water use and issues across the industry.
The Company withdraws water for industrial use, drawing on saline and non-saline sources, including non-saline industrial wastewater.
In 2015, non-saline water withdrawal increased in part due to the startup of the Sunrise Energy Project. The source of that water is considered low quality. For its steam requirements, Sunrise uses a combination of internally recycled produced water, process affected water (non-saline industrial wastewater) from a nearby operation and non-potable water from the Basal McMurray aquifer. The start of production at the Rush Lake Lloyd Thermal Project contributed to the increase in non-saline water withdrawals.
Approximately 6.9 million cubic metres (m³) of non-saline water withdrawn for use in Husky’s refineries last year was offset by the 4.4 million m³ returned to the surface hydrologic cycle after being treated in multiple stages, including separating oil from the water and applying biological treatments. Before being discharged, the water is tested for regulatory compliance.
The withdrawal of 18.7 million m³ of offshore saline water in 2015 was offset by the discharge back to the sea of 10.2 million m³ of cooling water.
Non-saline Water Withdrawal by Watershed
Husky assesses ways to conserve and recycle water, including consideration of reusing produced water or other industrial wastewater.
In 2015, 97 percent of non-saline water withdrawals occurred in areas considered not water short or low intensity, as defined by provincial regulatory bodies. Two percent of the withdrawals occurred in areas considered potentially water short or moderate intensity and one percent of the withdrawals in areas considered water short or high intensity.
Just over half of the Company’s onshore non-saline withdrawals were from the North Saskatchewan River watershed in Alberta and Saskatchewan and were used primarily in thermal production and upgrading operations. Water is withdrawn from along the river in areas that aren’t considered water short.
Approximately 25 percent of onshore non-saline withdrawals were from the Maumee River watershed in Ohio, for use at the Lima Refinery. More than 65 percent was returned to the surface hydrologic cycle after being treated.