Like most industrial processes, natural gas development requires water, and protecting and managing both surface and groundwater resources are a top priority for our company.
The states in which Range operates have appropriate water management regulations. Each company division uses a specific set of best practices to address regional differences in regulation, geology, topography, site location and water sourcing accessibility.
Water is closely monitored and regulated in the states where we operate. For example, all of our water management efforts in Pennsylvania are reviewed, permitted and regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as well as local regulatory bodies, such as the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. Our compliance with these regulations requires a complete analysis and reporting of all water usage, transportation, recycling and reuse, and disposal if warranted. This includes identification of water sources and withdrawal points and our activities are regularly audited by the state. It is truly a comprehensive, beginning-to-end process.
Of all major energy sources, natural gas produced from shale is among the least water consumptive energy resources per MMBTU. By utilizing best practices, going above and beyond regulations when appropriate and pioneering large-scale water recycling and reuse technologies, Range is continuing to focus on efforts that further enhance how we manage and use water.
For example, Range maintains comprehensive shale gas water management plans. These plans include ways to minimize community impacts and overall consumptive water needs. These plans also include the use of both permanent and temporary water lines that allow for the transport of water to our shale gas development sites, often from centralized impoundments, dramatically reducing truck traffic. In other instances, Range may use temporary, mobile water storage solutions if centralized impoundments are not needed.
In 2009, we pioneered technology that allows for the recycling and reuse of nearly 100 percent of the water across our Pennsylvania operations. Today, these recycling practices have become more common across our industry, greatly expanding the environmental and economic benefits.