Billions or millions?

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Water resources are our most precious resource and one we worry about in the natural gas industry. For this reason I was pleased to be invited to speak from the industry’s perspective at a Water Canada round table on water issues for the Great Lakes drainage basin. Very respectful discussion and I learned a lot.

I confess I was pleased to hear the International Joint Commission also struggles with communicating numbers to the public.

I find it difficult to communicate that the water needed to frac one well – 13 million litres – is very small by industrial standards.

Yet that’s a breeze compared to the International Joint Commission’s job.  The IJC recently dealt with public outrage over a change of a few billion litres per day in the St. Clair River. This is so small it is less than the plus or minus of 3 percent on their ability to measure. The St. Clair River flows in to Lake Huron at about 450 billion litres per day.

I only have to explain a few million. I should stop complaining.

Is it a good policy to import 46 percent of Quebec’s energy needs?  To change it will take less each year than one percent of the daily flow of the Saint Clair River.  They can’t even reliably measure that.  No wonder the IJC needs more measurement stations.