The newly created Texas Produced Water Consortium released its preliminary findings Sept. 1 in a report to the Texas legislature titled “Beneficial Use of Produced Water in Texas: Challenges, Opportunities and the Path Forward.” The consortium was created in 2021 to study the economics, treatment technologies, and environmental and public health considerations for beneficially using produced water outside the oil and gas industry. It’s a membership-based organization managed by the Office of Research and Innovation at Texas Tech University.
Rusty Smith, consortium director, said, “The Texas legislature is proactively searching for new sources of water to alleviate projected future shortages. Treating produced water for beneficial use already occurs in other states. If we’re able to prove produced water in Texas can be treated to a quality protective of public health and the environment, it could be a game-changer.” The report says there is potential for an estimated two billion barrels per year (256,000 acre-feet) of treated produced water from the Permian Basin.
Next on the consortium agenda are pilot projects focusing on testing and analysis of treated produced water.