Advertisement

Alberta Energy Regulator restricts river water use by oil sector, cites drought

A Suncor mine facility along the Athabasca river as seen from a helicopter tour of the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
A Suncor mine facility along the Athabasca river as seen from a helicopter tour of the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – The Alberta Energy Regulator is restricting how much water oilsands and other energy projects can withdraw from part of the Athabasca River and other rivers in the province.

It cites dry weather and low flow conditions for its decision that suspends water withdrawals under some temporary diversion licences.

AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald said licensees will need to look for alternative water sources.

The temporary licence suspensions affect companies that operate in the Upper Athabasca River basin.

Oilsands giant Syncrude Canada Ltd. and many other major oilsands firms operate in the Lower Athabasca region.

The AER is also encouraging oil and gas operators to voluntarily reduce their water consumption from rivers with lower than normal streamflows that are not covered by mandatory restrictions.

Sponsored content