Balancing Energy, Water and Food Systems
The world could face a 40 percent shortfall between global fresh water demand and supply by 2030, if current trends continue, according to the World Economic Forum.
“Evidence in the scientific community points to significant growing tensions across a number of key systems – in particular the inter-relationship between energy, water and food systems,” says Jeremy Bentham, Shell’s Vice President of Global Business Environment. “The world’s water, energy and food systems are tightly linked. Water is needed for almost all forms of energy production; energy is needed to treat and transport water; and both water and energy are needed to grow food.”
The Dawson Creek Reclaimed Water Project is an example of how Shell is helping to face that challenge by working with the community. The facility, process and associated infrastructure virtually eliminates our need to draw on local fresh water sources for the operation of our Groundbirch natural gas venture.
Fresh Water Through Innovation
The project further treats a volume of municipal waste water that was alternatively released into the Dawson Creek to a standard suitable for industrial and municipal uses. The project supplies water for Shell’s Groundbirch development and provides the City of Dawson Creek with additional reclaimed water for sale to other industry operators or for potential municipal use such as the watering of roads or sports fields.
“Shell came forward with an innovative proposal to collaborate on a reclaimed water facility that would treat municipal wastewater into something that can be used both by industry and the City,” says Mike Bernier, a former mayor of Dawson Creek . “The project will benefit our community for decades to come.”
Shell funded the majority of the multimillion dollar City-owned facility as well as constructing the associated Shell-owned pumphouse infrastructure and 48-kilometre pipeline to transport the water to our operations. The facility, designed to produce 4,000 cubic metres per day of reclaimed water, has been operational since May 2012. As part of the arrangement with the City of Dawson Creek, Shell has access to up to 3,400 cubic metres per day of the reclaimed water over the next several years.