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Water Use Reporting for Oil and Gas Production

Introduction

On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1281 (Pavley, Ch 561, Stats of 2014) which added Section 3226.3 to the Public Resources Code (PRC), and amended Section 3227. The amendment to PRC Section 3227 further defined how water produced and used in oil field operations is reported.

As part of the amendment to PRC Section 3227, Senate Bill 1281 established the requirement for a quarterly water report which must be filed online by all oil and gas well owners. To meet this requirement, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Division) has implemented an interim electronic reporting process for oil and gas operators, while it seeks a permanent solution for online reporting.

Under existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Division) in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, stimulation, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. The law requires the owner of any well to file with the State Oil and Gas Supervisor a monthly statement that provides certain information relating to the well, including what disposition was made of the water produced from each well. The law provides that a person who fails to comply with specific laws relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations, including failing to furnish a report or record, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The amendment to PRC Section 3227 requires the statement to the supervisor to include the source and volume of any water reported, along with water used to generate or make up the composition of any injected fluid or gas. It also requires the statement to include additional information, including the treatment of water, and the use of treated or recycled water in oil and gas field activities. This information is to be reported on a quarterly basis.

Senate Bill 1281 also requires the Division to use a standardized form or format to facilitate reporting, and to use non-custom software, as feasible, to implement online reporting. As such, the Division has developed for oil and gas operator use, a quarterly water report form in Microsoft Excel.

Latest Information and Reports

The fourth quarter of 2015 water summary report, and data tables are now available.

Water summary reports and data tables are available online: Click here.

State Water Board Defines Water Quality

On August 19, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) defined in letter to the Division what constitutes “water suitable for domestic or irrigation purposes.” For the purposes of reporting water per PRC Section 3227, the Board has defined “water suitable for domestic or irrigation purposes” as water containing 10,000 milligrams per liter (mg/l), or less, total dissolved solids (TDS). To read the Board's letter to the Division in its entirety, click here.