The Future of Energy

lady giving water to trees

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.

Reducing Truck Traffic

view of city road and farm

“At Groundbirch, we work closely with the local community to drive creative solutions for issues related to the oil and gas industry,” says Carson Newby, Shell Groundbirch, Process Improvement Lead. “Traffic is an issue in the community. This is why we constructed the pipeline from the Dawson Creek Project to our Groundbirch operations, to minimize truck traffic on local roads.”

The Dawson Creek Reclaimed Water Project includes a Shell-owned and operated 48-kilometre pipeline west of Dawson Creek to our Groundbirch field. Utilization of the pipeline at design capacity removes over 100 water hauling trucks per day off of local roads that otherwise would be required to transport water to our Groundbirch operations. This equates to eliminating over three million kilometres a year in truck trips over the course of full gas field development. Taking these trucks off the road reduces area traffic, dust and noise for the local community.

More in About Us


Produces methane, natural gas liquids and condensate and could provide Shell’s equity share of natural gas to LNG Canada.


One of North America’s most efficient, modern and integrated hydrocarbon processing sites, converting oil sands bitumen into finished, marketable products.


You might also like

Integrated gas

Liquefying natural gas (LNG) so that it can be safely stored and shipped to markets around the world.

What We Do: At a Glance

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. We employ around 3,100 employees in Canada.

The energy future

We are using our know-how, technology and innovation to deliver more and cleaner energy for the world's growing population.