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Water management

Supporting a sustainable water future

As an integrated energy company, our business helps ensure the quality of life and energy future for Canadians.

Imperial recognizes the importance of water to local communities – to protect human health and the environment.

  • We are fortunate our operations are located in areas that have ample water to balance our operational needs with economic growth, social development and environmental protection, today and for the future.
  • We are committed to responsible development so future generations are not impacted by today’s decisions and actions.
  • We recognize and take these responsibilities very seriously to minimize impact on water in all aspects of our operations. We focus on freshwater conservation along with recycling and reuse opportunities, innovation, and efficient use of water through the design and operation of our facilities.

Imperial’s current operating assets are in areas of low to medium overall water risk. Even though all of Imperial’s operating sites have secure water licences and are not located in water-scarce areas, Imperial believes it’s important to monitor and manage water risks.

Risk assessments identify water-related aspects of activities, projects or producing assets. We follow detailed management systems, and strictly adhere to government regulations. All operating sites collect water data to facilitate benchmarking and stewardship, and to identify and evaluate continuous improvement opportunities.

For 2017, Imperial’s total freshwater consumption was 42.5 million cubic metres with a freshwater intensity of 0.99 cubic metre of water consumption per cubic metre of throughput or production. About 32.5 million cubic metres in upstream and about 10 million cubic metres in chemical and downstream were consumed with freshwater intensities of 1.56 and 0.45, respectively. Our downstream and chemical facilities have achieved strong utilization rates over the past five years with little change in water use. Over the past five years, more than 80 percent of water recovered from our oil sands production has been treated, recycled and re-used. This significantly reduces the need for freshwater withdrawals.

In the past 20 years, we’ve spent more than $2.1 billion in research and technology development. We’ve developed advanced oil recovery technologies that are more energy efficient and have lower water use intensity. In addition to in-house research, we partner with academic institutions, industry peers, and third-party companies to accelerate the pace of environmental performance improvement.

Protect Tomorrow. Today. logoOur corporate environment policy and “Protect Tomorrow. Today” expectations are the foundation of our efforts, guided by a scientific understanding of the environmental impact of our operations. We recognize that business success depends on the economic, social and environmental health of the communities where we operate.

View our full water summary