Water Project Research

The documents below relate to Water projects that COSIA is involved in with external partners.

To view All Categories please visit our main Project Research page.

Regional Water Management Initiative

The Regional Water Management Initiative project was carried out by COSIA between 2012 and 2015. The project’s objective was to explore opportunities to manage water in the Athabasca Oil Sands production region, seeking opportunities to minimize negative environmental net effect through the development of regional water reuse networks. The project was intended to extend the body of knowledge and the development of tools necessary to evaluate regional solutions. Inside a sustainable water management framework for the oil sands, the regionalization of water systems represents one potential type of reuse application to be evaluated against a range of alternatives.

The project looked at three types of potential collaborative networks:

  • Mine Oil Sands Process Water (OSPW) to In Situ Make-up
  • In Situ Blowdown Regional Disposal
  • Mine Depressurization Deep Well Disposal


Category: Water
Predictive Simulations Using the 3D Regional Groundwater Solutions Groundwater Flow Model Southern Athabasca Oil Sands

In-situ oil sands producers in the South Athabasca Oil Sands (SAOS) region use non-saline and saline groundwater for makeup water. For continued development of their projects, operators must understand the long term usability of the aquifers and potential interactions from other operator activities.

To advance the understanding of water resource utilization and management, COSIA undertook the Regional Groundwater Solutions (RGS) project which used a numerical groundwater flow model to simulate the head distribution within the key aquifers used for oil sands water withdrawals and disposal within the SAOS.

The attached report, “Predictive Simulations Using the 3D Regional Groundwater Solutions Groundwater Flow Model Southern Athabasca Oil Sands”, documents the results of the RGS project. 

Partners: Matrix Solutions
Category: Water
Regional Geochemistry Study for the Southern Athabasca Oil Sands Area

In-situ oil sands producers in the Southern Athabasca Oils Sands (SAOS) region use water consisting of saline or non-potable groundwater from deep aquifers for production. Individual operators have completed groundwater isotopic studies within their project areas and adjacent surrounding lands.  While this individual data is valuable for improving the understanding each project area, the limited scope and geographic locations of each study prevent the true value of the data from being realized.

COSIA identified this as an opportunity and commissioned a report that pooled individual COSIA operator data to form a regional dataset that also includes similar public datasets. The result is an aggregate isotope and geochemistry dataset that is unprecedented, both in terms of the amount of data and the regional geographic extent.