Water is a vital resource for life. We also use it as a feedstock as part of our operations. We therefore strive to optimize our water use in order to reduce our water withdrawals and consumption, and preserve water quality throughout our production chain. To this end, we continuously improve our water knowledge and management.
Water: Our Approach and Guidelines for Daily Action
We leverage our expertise to limit as much as possible the impact of our activities on water resources wherever we operate, across the life cycle of our facilities and products.
To achieve this, our approach is part of a long-term strategy that is formalized in our Safety Health Environment Quality Charter. We implement this strategy – which is designed to avoid and limit water risks – throughout the lifespan of our projects to minimize the impact of our operations on water.
Our method involves:
- Taking regional sensitivities into account: In order to identify in advance the facilities most affected by the availability of fresh water, we track and assess water withdrawals and discharges at all of our sites. Before implementing new projects, we use decision support tools to obtain a comprehensive overview of water stress regions.
- Managing water from the first to the very last day of a project: We systematically integrate water risk and impact management into our Environmental Management System (EMS) at every stage of our projects, right up until our facilities are dismantled.
- Reporting: We report to our stakeholders on our water performance, both qualitatively and quantitatively. We aim to ensure that all our sites comply with the requirements set out in local regulations. When these regulations are lacking or insufficient, we put in place our own standards.
Investing in research to improve our water knowledge and management
We are stepping up our research and development, particularly in an effort to improve our water treatment techniques. For example, in our Exploration & Production operations, we are looking at the best techniques for reinjecting produced water into the reservoir from which it was extracted. Another solution is designed to use produced water to maintain reservoir pressure, thereby facilitating oil recovery.
At Total, we believe that openness and dialogue are key to fostering innovation within the Group.
That’s why we support ambitious open innovation projects, like the start-up Adionics, which we helped get off the ground. Adionics uses solvents with a strong affinity for water to desalinate it and regenerate the solvent for another cycle, meaning that the water can be recycled and reused.
In addition, we forge partnerships with organizations specializing in water issues. One example is the agreement we signed in 2018 with the International Office for Water.