Working to Keep Our Waters Clean
Clean water is vital to life and its supply is limited, so it must be utilized carefully to be sure it is protected for future generations. API and our members work to ensure the continued availability of high quality water. Drilling oil and natural gas wells, pumping oil from the wells, refining crude oil, transportation of crude oil or refined product and operation of filling stations are what most people think of when they consider the industry. Each of these operations has a unique possibility of contact with water. Compliance with environmental laws and regulations that protect our rivers, lakes and oceans as well as the groundwater resources in the United States and throughout the world is only a first step. We have also invested in many scientific studies to learn about possible effects of products and activities on the environment, aquatic life and human health. We use this information to modify and improve environmental and business practices to care for this important resource.
To learn more about these environmental regulations and scientific studies, and the actions undertaken by the oil and natural gas industry to ensure that water remains clean, visit the following sections of our site. Other links will provide information on actions taken to prevent or rapidly respond to an oil spill situation and to conserve water.
For information about the scientific research undertaken and the advanced technology used to safeguard our nation's oceans, lakes, and rivers, including water quality criteria, standards and other regulatory issues.
API-sponsored research yields practical tools and basic science for risk-based, cost-effective decision making. API Soil and Groundwater Research Bulletins summarize research results from projects overseen by API's Soil and Groundwater Technical Task Force. The Task Force disseminates information and research results through publications, presentations and interaction with industry clients and regulatory agencies.
The oil and natural gas industry practices environmental protection and water conservation as a part of many of their operations. These practices are good for business, of course, but they also help protect and conserve resources. As an example, it is common practice for oil refineries to employ "cogeneration". That means that excess energy from normal operations, either in the form of steam or heat, can be used to create additional electrical power.
For information about actions by API members, working together with state and federal government agencies to minimize potential effects of oil spills on the environment or on human health.
Learn how the oil and gas industry is striving to use less water in normal business operations: the practice of environmental protection through resource conservation and see API issue-specific task groups that are working closely with industry, governmental and other groups to address a broad range of water quality issues.