Legal Header

The Alberta Energy Regulator publishes 2022 Water Use Performance Report

Data analysis expanded from five to ten years

CALGARY, ALBERTA, DECEMBER 14 – The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has published the 2022 Alberta Energy Industry Water Use Performance report, an annual publication showing how water is allocated to, and used by, the energy industry. 

The report shows that in 2022, the energy sector in Alberta, including oil sands mining, in situ operations, enhanced oil recovery, and hydraulic fracturing, again used less water than it was allocated. 

In 2022, the Government of Alberta allocated approximately 7 percent (9.8 billion m3) of the total nonsaline water for various users, including energy, agriculture, forestry, and municipalities. Within this allocation, around 13 percent (1.23 billion m3) was designated for energy development. The energy industry's allocation constitutes less than 1 percent of the overall nonsaline water available in Alberta.
From its share, the energy sector utilized about 21 percent of its allocated water, of which 82 percent was sourced from recycled water.

This newest report presents an expanded analysis encompassing a decade of water-use data from oil sands mining, in situ recovery, enhanced oil recovery, and hydraulic fracturing. This is versus the report’s inception in 2017 through 2021 which included data for up to five years.

“While Alberta energy industry companies have made considerable efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle water, we believe that publicly reporting on water use improves performance and encourages companies to continue using water efficiently, for the benefit of all Albertans,” said Laurie Pushor, AER president and CEO.

“Expanding the data analysis to ten years helps Albertans understand the longer-term industry water use trends in the province. It also helps energy companies better understand their water use and plan for the future,” he said.

Because the volume of water used for conventional oil and gas drilling and operations is typically quite small, it is not discussed in the report. Water used for refining and processing activities is also not included in the report.

The report falls under the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Industry Performance Program, which strives to hold companies accountable for their decisions and actions, improve their performance, and share more information with Albertans.

About the Alberta Energy Regulator
The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of energy resources in Alberta through our regulatory activities. For more information visit