From a water perspective, Texas and Texas companies are particularly vulnerable. EDF and company annual reports note the risks of not being able to adequately deal with produced water and that “Texas oil and gas companies alone produce over 300 billion gallons of wastewater a year, twice as much as any other state, and that volume is expected to increase. This is no ordinary water. In addition to the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, it can contain radioactive materials and a number of naturally occurring pollutants – including high concentrations of salt that can kill plants and ruin soil for decades if not handled properly.”
What this means is that if you cannot treat, dispose or reuse the water you are out of business and having to truck the water out of county or state would ruin the O&G business. But there is an upside opportunity, this water has the potential to supplement other water uses in the long term as drought and water shortages return to Texas as they did in 2011.
And if we can find a way to treat and reuse this water more effectively, Texas could export these technologies worldwide where water issues are among the biggest social and economic risks.