COSIA’s Water Mining Performance Goal

COSIA members are committed collectively to:

Reduce the net water use intensity from the Athabasca River and its tributaries by 30 per cent by 2022.
Water EPA Mining Performance Goal: Reduce the net water use intensity from the Athabasca River and its tributaries by 30 per cent by 2022.

Approximately 80 to 85 per cent of water used for oil sands extraction in mining operations is recycled. Of the remaining 15 to 20 per cent ‘make-up’ water, 80 to 85 per cent is taken from the Athabasca River and its tributaries. This currently equates to approximately 2.2 barrels of Athabasca river water being used for every barrel of bitumen produced. The remaining proportion of ‘make-up’ water is made up of precipitation (rain water/snow melt) captured on operators’ leases and ground water, including groundwater upstream of the mining face (sometimes known as mine depressurization water). Some of this groundwater may be saline, depending on local geology/hydrology.

Did you know: “In 2012, the oil sands industry’s total water withdrawals from the Athabasca River represented 0.6 per cent of the average annual river flow and less than 3 per cent of the lowest weekly winter flow in 2012.” Source: AESRD