Sourcewater, an MIT spin-off, has issued a research report detailing the immediate and long-term benefits available to the unconventional energy production industry through the use of a web-based marketplace for buying and selling water.
Sourcewater is the world’s first online marketplace for sourcing, recycling and disposing of water in the energy ecosystem. The site matches energy companies with produced water, impaired water and freshwater sources to maximize wastewater recycling, secure water supply chains and minimize water acquisition costs. Sourcewater.com will go live later this fall.
For the Stronger Water Practices for the Future report, social systems design lab Thicket built a computational model to demonstrate how Sourcewater.com can help overcome obstacles at the heart of the water/energy production nexus. Drawing on a set of 43 concepts that comprise the system of water use and exchange in the unconventional energy industry, key impacts include:
- Economic: Sourcewater creates a marketplace for water; reduces water management costs; reduces risk of supply disruption; and strengthens regional water markets.
- Environmental: Sourcewater increases wastewater recycling; improves water supply resiliency; and decreases environmental risks.
- Social: Sourcewater increases public trust; improves resource distribution; strengthens water management and decision-making; and lays the groundwork for a water commodities market.
More advanced recycling rather than disposal of water produced by hydraulic fracturing could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year, according to a report by Rice University scientists published last month.