Repsol Water Tool

View of a river

Towards excellence in sustainable water management

At Repsol, we use water in our processes, both in our Refining and Chemicals industrial centers and in our Exploration and Production activities.

Ensuring the supply of this scarce resource in quality and quantity is essential to continue with the operations of all our facilities. This is why water management is one of the main environmental challenges for our company in 2025.

To facilitate this work, we have our own tool, the Repsol Water Tool (RWT), which allows us to obtain a detailed view of the management of this resource, as well as the risks associated with each facility both internally (the types of uses and consumption of this resource in the different processes, the treatment and quality of the discharge, etc.), and externally (availability, quality and ecosystems that are sources of catchment or bodies receiving discharges, competition for water, etc.).

We developed this tool in 2012 based on the Local Water Tool (LWT) and the Global Water Tool (GWT) of the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In 2018, it was updated to improve its usability and update some methodological aspects.

Based on their results, our technicians identify aspects to improve and design specific actions for each facility or asset, which focus on three lines: improving knowledge of the environment and water uses, efficient resource management, and improving water treatment technology. The objectives and actions included in the action plans are designed taking into account the factors of the local environment as well as those of the facility itself.

Efficient water management

This is society's main challenge for the coming decades given that water is an essential element for the sustainable development of society, reducing poverty, improving people's quality of life, and boosting economic growth.

  1. The OECD estimates that water demand for industry will increase by 400% from 2000 to 2050, and that there will be a 20% increase in global water extraction for energy production from 2010 to 2035, while water consumption could grow by 85% driven by the transition to more efficient power plants with more advanced cooling systems.
  2. Consumption will increase by 85% worldwide by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency, due to population growth, concentration in large cities, and economic development in emerging countries.
  3. Water is also essential in the oil and gas sector. The challenge is therefore to find a balance in the use of both resources for energy production.
  4. All Repsol areas use water in some of their key processes. Most consumption occurs in refining and chemicals, where it is mainly used for cooling and steam production processes.

Management model

At Repsol, we have been sustainably managing water at our facilities for decades by focusing our efforts on finding new ways to minimize the use of this natural resource, use it more efficiently, and preserve its quality.

reutilizacion de agua

1. Search for alternative water sources to ensure supply: In our shale gas operations, water consumption is optimized, and alternative sources to fresh surface water such as groundwater, wastewater, production water, or flowback water are analyzed and selected using optimal technology for their treatment. In water-scarce areas and for exploration projects, rainwater has been used as an alternative to surface water sources.

Moreover, best practices have also been adopted from local communities who have taught us ancient techniques for optimizing use of this scarce natural resource in some parts of the world, for example in Algeria in the Reggane project. The Tarragona Industrial Complex uses non-fresh reclaimed water from a wastewater treatment plant, thus reducing its use of fresh water.

2. Adaptation of water management to the highest international standards

Industrial complexes in Spain and Portugal are constantly carrying out specific actions and investments to adapt to the best practices available.


Furthermore, all our E&P operations comply with common minimum internal requirements (EPP: Environmental Performance Practices) regardless of the geographical area in which they take place, which establish discharge parameters for sanitary effluents and produced water, their impact on the environment, and prohibit practices that may lead to soil and groundwater contamination.


3. Reduction in water use intensity per barrel processed or oil produced

As a way to become more efficient and competitive in the production of the company's products. For example, in refineries and chemical plants, we have adopted measures to improve water use efficiency in cooling and steam production processes.