Southwestern Energy (SWN) is committed to being neutral in regard to the use of fresh water in our operations by 2016. This means that SWN will offset our fresh water footprint by reducing our fresh water usage and by replenishing any fresh water that we do use through conservation projects, which are designed to improve water quality and availability for the environment and communities around us. To meet this “fresh water neutral” commitment, the company launched the Energy Conserving Water (ECH2O) initiative in 2013.
Achieving ECH2O's goals centers on four key elements: 1) protection of water resources; 2) reduction of water used in our operations; 3) innovation to efficiently utilize alternative, non-fresh water sources; and 4) conservation to improve or replenish water resources.
SWN uses water in its operations every day, with the predominant usage for well stimulation through hydraulic fracturing. Our two largest operating divisions, the Fayetteville Shale and Marcellus Shale, use nearly 70 million barrels of water annually to hydraulically fracture over 500 wells. The fresh water use in these major areas, as well as smaller operating areas, and other operational uses of water are all included in the ECH2O imperative.