Project Canary announced in early May it has produced a measure for the impact from oil and natural gas operations on local water supplies in a study published alongside Colorado State University (CSU).


The Denver-based independent natural gas certifier’s Fresh Water Replacement Ration (FR2) has already been applied to some of Project Canary’s partners’ responsibly sourced gas (RSG) certifications. Ascent Resources, Penn Energy Resources, PureWest Energy, Seneca Resources Co. LLC and Southwestern Energy Co. all participated in the FR2 program as part of their TrustWell rating. 

The study provides operators with “real, measurable insight into how operational practices impact water sustainability,” said CSU’s Professor of Environmental Engineering Ken Carlson, a report co-author.

The FR2 metric analyzes the amount an operator offsets competitive water resources, and minimizes impact in high water stress regions while considering the unique characteristics of oil and gas basins. Operators can receive quarterly data to validate their freshwater stewardship. 

Project Canary’s head of Certifications Josh Zier, a study co-author, noted that responsible water usage must be a “core component of any RSG” or environmental, social or governance program. 

Zier added, however, that “today’s reporting standards lack the frequency and granularity necessary to truly understand the effects of operations on local water resources,

“With the FR2 tool, we’re setting the industry standard for freshwater stewardship,” he said. “This gives our customers, and all stakeholders, deeper insight into one of the most critical components of operational performance.”