Water is a vital, shared resource and an important aspect of our operations.
We know we must manage water sustainably to protect long-term environmental health and business resilience.
We have developed comprehensive environmental operating practices to manage our water withdrawals, quality monitoring, wastewater disposal, and to protect water sources near our operations.
Water withdrawal and recycling
We aim to use water efficiently for both existing and new projects, and actively seek opportunities to reduce water use. During project development, we assess water sources with the intent to minimize water basin impact and identify the most suitable water solutions. This analysis involves gathering feedback from local and Indigenous communities. We also aim to reuse and recycle water where possible. At our Fort Saskatchewan facility, for instance, water used for underground storage cavern mining and operations is reused and recycled from above-ground brine ponds.
With our focus on continuous improvement, we are pursuing how to make our processes for collecting water data and monitoring performance more efficient. We are exploring where the use of digital technologies can further automate processes and enable more effective decision-making.
Water quality & wastewater
During each stage of a project and throughout our operations, we ensure surface and groundwater protection and mitigate risk to natural aquatic ecosystems. Keyera does not produce or release effluents. We protect water quality by including water-related infrastructure and operational processes during project development; monitoring groundwater and stormwater runoff quality; applying stringent practices for disposal of wastewater; and, using containment areas around facilities.
Water risk assessment
In 2021, Keyera initiated a water risk assessment to better understand the risks and opportunities related to the basins within which we work, as well as corresponding risks to our business.
Using WWF’s internationally recognized Water Risk Filter 6.0 tool, all Keyera facilities were assessed for basin risk and water-reliant assets were reviewed for operational risk. The assessment scored each basin and operation using 32 indicators within physical, reputational, and regulatory risk categories, which provided a broad, initial view of our water risk profile. The assessment also included climate and socio-economic scenario forecasting to evaluate potential longer-term risks into 2030 and 2050.
Based on our Water Risk Filter 6.0 assessment, Keyera's overall basin risk is considered low.
Water crossings Managing risks
Over the last several years, Keyera has placed particular focus on the identification and mitigation of risk related to pipelines which cross water bodies. We have hydrological and geotechnical surveillance systems to monitor land disturbances and changes in river levels in high-risk areas this helps us proactively identify potential issues. We also complete risk assessment surveys for all major water crossings traversed by our pipelines and have developed site-specific emergency response plans at all river and named-creek crossings.
Our most predominant use of water occurs in the development of our underground storage caverns.
In this context, we use water to dissolve naturally occurring salt formations to create a cavern for the storage of liquid hydrocarbons. Once salt from the formation has dissolved into the water, it creates brine, which we store in above ground brine ponds or inject into disposal formations. Once the cavern is placed in operation, brine is reused to displace hydrocarbons stored in our caverns.
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