Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter Highlights Texas Energy Industry’s Water Conservation Efforts

Says Commission Rules Promote Smart Water Use

October 26, 2016

AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today delivered the keynote address to the 5th Annual Lone Star Water Summit, highlighting the energy industry’s success in conserving and recycling water used in energy production.  Citing the Texas Water Development Board’s 2017 State Water Plan and a 2015 Duke University study, the chairman says oil and gas industry’s water use is minimal in comparison to other industries, and the energy industry’s innovative technologies are leading conservation efforts in Texas. 

“Both state and nationwide, oil and gas water use is less than one percent, compared to irrigation and municipal uses, which total around 80 percent,” Porter said. “Demand for municipal use, manufacturing, and steam-generated electric power are expected to increase over the next 50 years in Texas, while water demand for oil and gas and other mining purposes are expected to remain relatively constant and eventually decline. This decrease in consumption is largely the result of industry innovations, such as desalination and water recycling.”  

Porter commended 2013 Railroad Commission rule changes for helping accelerate industry’s efforts. The agency’s regulations encourage recycling of produced fluids, including hydraulic fracture flowback fluid and produced formation fluid. The regulations provide a clear guide to non-commercial, centralized and commercial recycling of such fluids, which encourage and promote greater water conservation and recycling efforts. 

“Water is an essential part of energy production, and as the top energy producing state in the nation, water’s relationship with this industry is especially important to Texas,” Porter said. “But even if we do not use another drop of water for drilling operations, water is still going to be an issue because of our state’s tremendous population growth. We must continue working together to find the safest, most efficient uses for water in every industry.”

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.