Water is used across all our operations and is essential to our business. We're always looking for ways to reduce the amount of water we use and be more efficient with how we use it.
We consider many options, including developing new technologies and processes to handle water, finding ways to recycle and reuse more water and implementing procedures to replace fresh water with more saline (salty) water for use in our operations.
The Alberta and Saskatchewan governments closely monitor and regulate water usage. We apply for licenses and are required to demonstrate how much water we will consume to avoid affecting or disturbing the ecosystems in the area. We continue to monitor the water flow throughout the entire life of the project to successfully meet these requirements.
What we’re doing to reduce water consumption
Here are some examples of technologies we use that increase the efficiency of water use across our oil sands operations:
Here are some examples of how we reduce water usage at our operations:
- Reusing our camps’ wastewater, after it’s been treated and approved for release, to build ice roads, for use in dust suppression and in our drilling activities.
- Improving our water transportation and handling processes by providing spill kits and training to all drivers.
- Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures at some of our camps.
- Evaluating our water use performance relative to that of our peers and other industries to continuously improve. We’re collaborating on best management practices through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) to share our learnings and learn from others.
- The Cenovus Water Tracker system uses a mobile app to track our fresh water usage. Moving from paper forms to a centralized system improves reporting quality, reduces time and costs associated with data entry and results in improved data accessibility.
Water recycling in a nutshell
We use crushed walnut shells to treat and filter some of the water we use to get oil out of the oil sands. Read more.