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of Alberta

Resolution 11-02F

Freshwater Injection

January 1, 2002
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2005
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS increased oil activities are using more and more freshwater for oilfield injection; AND WHEREAS water is life-giving and if injected into deep wells is lost forever; AND WHEREAS water is increasingly becoming recognized as a valuable natural resource; AND WHEREAS it is believed that groundwater attracts rain fall to the area; AND WHEREAS the reduction of the water table in the recharge areas affects the amount of groundwater over the entire Province; AND WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has demonstrated a strong commitment to working with the energy industry to develop alternate solutions to freshwater injection;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties commend the Province of Alberta for their actions in moving toward the elimination of the practice of using fresh water for oilfield injection purposes;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Alberta to promote research into the use of carbon dioxide for oilfield injection purposes, to replace the current use of fresh water while also lowering emissions of greenhouse gases.AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Alberta to immediately halt the use of fresh water for oilfield injection.

Member Background:

Water injected into deep wells becomes non-reusable and is lost forever, which affects the availability of water resources for other sectors such as agricultural and municipal activities. Non-reusable water is water that is taken out of the ecosystem, as this water does not have a chance to evaporate, form rain clouds and then fall as rain.Alberta has allowed injection of water for 50 years. The amount of water being injected each year is increasing dramatically. In 2000, 45 billion gallons of water were injected. In 2001, this amount increased to 60 billion gallons. A lake the size of Pine Lake holds 45 billion gallons. Can we afford to lose this much water each year?It is believed that surface water attracts rainfall, and lack of surface water can be a contributing factor to the severe drought.There are alternatives to the use of water for injection purposes. Carbon dioxide or natural gas are both more efficient but cost industry more. There has been some research into the injection of carbon dioxide as a means of reducing greenhouse gases.Albertas Environment Minister has indicated to the AAMD&C Executive that he has a clear understanding of the issue, and has expressed a strong commitment to working with the energy industry regarding this matter, which is currently under active review within his department.

RMA Background:

Resolution 9-01F, endorsed by delegates to the 2001 Fall Convention, calls on the provincial government to disallow injection of potable and/or fresh water for oilfield injection and industrial needs.

Provincial Ministries:
Treasury Board and Finance,
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
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