Water UK, through Eureau, is joining a three-year European Commission work programme to develop a best available technology reference document for oil and gas, which will take full consideration of environmental protection. Over the past four years, Water UK’s positioning has focused on ensuring that if shale gas developments are to take place, they can do so with the water utility fully involved and with water and wastewater concerns addressed from the outset.
Since Water UK first expressed its concerns, supported by research from UKWIR, it has engaged with key stakeholders and developed ways of working, pushed for and achieved statutory consultee status in shale gas developments, supported government in their promotion of baseline monitoring, and worked with the Commission on the development and assessment of their ‘Principles’ Recommendation.
Up to now, not one well has been drilled for shale gas or oil in the UK, though this is largely as a result of public concerns and planning difficulties. Operators are still confident that shale gas is a viable resource, but this is a continuing matter for debate. What is clear is that if and when drilling does take place, the concerns and interests of water utilities can be addressed.
Jim Marshall – Policy and Business Adviser
0207 344 1844