It’s not easy to get us to think about something differently, even if the status quo is less than ideal.
We’re talking about water. We need water to drink, yes. But we also need water for food – whether on the crops or in the trough.
We know and often read how the price of oil drives up prices at the pump, which drives up trucking costs, which means that we pay more for a grocery cart of food. The price of my loaf of bread depends on how much oil comes out of the ground.
Likewise, water has the same chain reaction. An agriculturalist looks and sees that the land he has available to him is good for this crop or that crop. He bases that on his soil, futures for a commodity, and....water. What if we changed one variable, water?
With an increase in available water, his land can perhaps grow a different, more valuable crop. A rancher can increase his herds or perhaps raise a different stock that will bring a better market price. If you own the land and lease it out, then land with water can be double the price of land without water.
We know this is true, but where do you get more water?
Well, sitting on farms and ranches across the land are oil rigs producing on average 3 barrels of produced water for every 1 barrel of oil. Right now, we essentially throw that water away through evaporation or injection, although a slight percentage is re-used for fracking.
Now, we’ve all talked about this and other “what if” scenarios before. But the pin that pops the “what if” balloon is very often the economics. Sure, more water is great, but the piping or truck costs are too much. Sure, it’d be good to take the produced water from the well and use it for livestock or crops, but the economic model breaks the bank for an E&P.
At the Beneficial-Use Water Alliance, we are working to create this solution and there is a model where everyone wins and no one, least of all the E&Ps, are left holding the bag. Too good to be true? Well, it’s true.
There isn’t one size fits all model for every plot of acreage. However, BUWA is committed to working with you to maximize the stake you have in that acreage, whether it’s where your rig is located or you own the land or you have crops or livestock growing there. And it works economically for all concerned.
But what stops us? Well, the problem is all in our heads.
That is, we keep holding onto the status quo, even if it isn’t working well.
Let’s talk. Thinking differently is good.