Why It Matters to Us

Management of material topic

Natural gas production requires water to operate sophisticated processes and procedures. Water management is a necessary, and often critical, component of many of our core operations functions to safeguard both human and ecological health. In addition, the efficient use and transport of water improves the overall efficiency of our operations and decreases air emissions through reduced vehicle transportation. The most significant impact that water has on our success is tied to its direct effect on our ability to complete wells and produce natural gas. We work to uphold ambitious standards of water management to preserve stakeholder trust, minimize our environmental impact, and protect this valuable natural resource.

What We Are Doing

Management of material topic

We recognize that natural gas development activities are water-intensive, and we are dedicated to protecting water resources by operating responsibly. We use best-in-class management practices for evaluating water sources, permitting locations, operating withdrawal sites, and discharging water. We identify potential risks at each stage of our operations and implement appropriate mitigation measures. Further, we strive to protect the freshwater in our communities by investing in innovative technology, leveraging industry best practices, and reusing water whenever possible. Recycling wastewater is the most effective solution for minimizing our water-related environmental impacts. We strongly support transparency and disclose the chemical makeup of our fracturing (frac) fluids via FracFocus.org.


Our Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) department, led by our Vice President, EHS, is responsible for the oversight and management of our environmental footprint, including following water‑related procedures and meeting permit requirements. Our Completion and Production teams are responsible for overseeing the management of operations and associated water use. Our EHS team develops water-related procedures for enacting best safety practices and managing environmental incidents while our Production team develops operational procedures regarding the movement of water. We report on environmental progress each quarter, including any material environmental violations, to the Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility (PPCR) Committee of our Board of Directors.

Water Withdrawals

Interactions with water as a shared resource

We operate within the Appalachian Basin, which has an abundant supply of water with low to moderate baseline water stress when compared to other basins in the United States. We use the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas Oil & Gas Weighting (WRI Aqueduct) to evaluate whether the water we withdraw is from stressed areas. Coordinates from our water withdrawal points are entered into the WRI Aqueduct tool to evaluate if the withdrawal poses a potential for high risk due to physical quantity (e.g., stress, depletion, seasonal variability, interannual variability, groundwater table decline, flood, or drought risk), quality (e.g., untreated connected wastewater), or regulatory and reputational risk (e.g., lack of drinking water and sanitation or overall country risk). Based on our assessment of our 2022 water withdrawal sources using WRI Aqueduct, it was determined that none of our water withdrawal sources are deemed high risk areas for water stress.

Nonetheless, we recognize that water is a precious resource and aim to effectively manage our water use. Prior to starting any water withdrawal, we assess the water source to determine a reasonable rate that can be extracted without harming the existing uses supported by the water source and we obtain approval from appropriate regulatory bodies as applicable. We also track historic seasonal conditions to establish a baseline for water availability from permitted surface water sources. Development schedules may be altered to allow water withdrawals during seasons when more water is expected to be available. We use guidance from local government agencies to determine a reasonable flow rate for the bodies of water from which we withdraw water, specifically the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and Q7-10 method.

During our operations, we strive to minimize the quantity of freshwater used, mindfully select water sources close to our well pads to minimize transportation, and choose sources with adequate and sustainable capacity to support our withdrawal without impacting the watershed. Regulatory agencies in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio issue permits for water withdrawal based on the availability and quality of local supplies. We have procedures in place to maintain compliance with water permitting and reporting requirements. For example, we record the volume pumped and pump time for all active water withdrawals and compare this to the permitted limits daily to confirm that the water pumped has not exceeded the allowable pump rate and daily volume. Additionally, automated alerts are established through the U.S. Geological Survey website to notify us of changing stream conditions. If stream flows ever drop below allowable levels, water withdrawal activities are immediately suspended.

To the extent possible, we use our own or third-party-produced water for our operations to minimize freshwater withdrawals. We use the following definitions in this report pertaining to water use and recycling:

Water Withdrawn/Water Consumption Normalized Fresh Water Withdrawn Recycled Water
Water obtained from sources such as lakes, rivers, reservoirs, or municipal faucets/hydrants for use in our operations. We obtain permits for our freshwater sources and adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal guidelines. Due to the nature of natural gas extraction, virtually all water we withdraw is used immediately; therefore, we use “water withdrawal” and “water consumption” interchangeably throughout this report. The ratio of water withdrawn (in cubic meters (m3)) to barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) produced per day. Water that is recycled for reuse in our operations. This includes flowback, drilling water, and produced water collected from drilling operations.

We aim to recycle 90% of our produced water in 2023.

We cooperate with state agencies to obtain permits for each water withdrawal site. This process includes a full evaluation of each applicable watershed. We adhere to agency recommendations on flow rates and do not exceed the maximum daily allowance to protect the quality and quantity of each water source. Surface water withdrawals are taken in accordance with a state-approved water management plan to prevent withdrawal during low-flow conditions. This process also helps maintain adequate water for aquatic species and downstream users. In addition to surface water withdrawal, we obtain water from municipalities in accordance with contracts with local or regional municipal water suppliers. We oversee our contractors’ compliance with water withdrawal requirements using a daily review and approval process prior to water withdrawal.

Monitoring Impacts

Monitoring well integrity is critical to prevent impacts on water supplies that are within a few hundred feet of the surface. To protect shallow aquifers, we use freshwater, soap, and air to drill the section of a well that could contain any freshwater. After drilling the freshwater section of the well, steel pipes (casings) are cemented in the borehole to protect groundwater and allow production of gas. We perform casing pressure tests and run cement bond logs as required by individual state regulations, and we submit reports on these tests and logs to the applicable state agency. In 2022, we had no well integrity failures that resulted in an adverse impact on the environment.

Our well-water protection program includes conducting both pre- and post-drill sampling at landowners’ private water supplies. We analyze water supplies — including water wells, springs, ponds, and streams — for general water quality constituents and metals, dissolved gas, petroleum constituents, and, if warranted, bacteriological parameters. We also follow the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s recommendation for pre-drill water supply surveys. We conduct multiple pre-drill samplings for all water sources within 3,000 feet of the site and post-drill samplings for sources within 1,500 feet of the site based on hydrogeological conditions and other factors as necessary to protect domestic water supplies.

We maintain a database of pre- and post-drill results and submit analytical results to the property owners and relevant state environmental agencies. We examine any landowner concern brought to our attention. If we perceive an issue, we immediately conduct a thorough hydrogeologic review and coordinate with the appropriate internal and external stakeholders to address and resolve the issue.

We store both fresh and recycled water in double-wall tanks and open impoundments, where permissible. Our impaired water impoundments, located exclusively in West Virginia, are inspected weekly and have leak detection systems. We do not currently have plans to create any new impaired water impoundments. In our other operating areas, we use tanks protected by containment that meet Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure best practices to store water produced during production. Containment at all unconventional sites is inspected monthly for adequacy.

Transporting Water and Avoiding Spills

To further improve water efficiency, we have continued to transition away from water transportation by truck. We are working to source all freshwater for our operations from pipelines to reduce truck traffic, our carbon footprint, and air emissions. As of December 31, 2022, approximately 95% of the freshwater we consume was delivered to our sites using pipelines, compared to approximately 99% as of December 31, 2021. The reduction from 2021 was a result of increased activity in more water-constrained areas of Northern Pennsylvania, where more freshwater was needed via trucking to support our production activity.

We are developing a 45‑mile, mixed-use water system in our key operating areas that will serve as the backbone for optimal development of our wells moving forward, while reducing environmental impacts and improving long‑term operating expenses. In 2022, we opened a new storage facility as part of this system which can hold up to 200,000 barrels of water. The facility can store produced water and pump it directly to active frac locations where it can be recycled using natural gas-fueled pumps. Water from producing well pads that are not connected to the water system can be hauled directly to the facility using trucks and offloaded into storage tanks at the well pad. Water from producing well pads that are located within our water network can be pumped either to the facility via pipelines or pumped directly to frac locations for reuse. Our water system is expected to grow in 2023 and beyond, further connecting our operations and reducing our environmental impact.

We reduced our water trucking needs by 25% in 2022 through gathering produced water and utilizing centralized facilities for storage and delivery points, reducing our total water truck CO2 emissions by approximately 19 MT per day.

In instances where water (primarily produced water) is transported via truck, we are working to increase our visibility of water use. Our onsite dashboards and remote water applications enable us to access real‑time data from multiple service providers and contractors in a centralized place. We have also installed global positioning systems and camera systems inside truck cabs and on trucks to provide a live view of the truck’s location. In 2022, we developed a scoring rubric to evaluate water haulers’ performance with a goal of balancing safety, service, and cost performance. Our water haulers are provided with a digitally enabled scorecard identifying real-time scores and rankings across 14 hauler-specific performance focus areas. Scores and rankings are regularly reported to business partners so that we can host open performance discussions and fine tune improvements. Additionally, in 2022, we focused on bringing contractor vehicles associated with our Alta Acquisition up to an equivalent technology standard as the trucks working in our core operating area. We also utilize tank-level monitors to prevent spills, alarms to prevent overfilling, and technology to identify leaks in lines as soon as they occur.

To improve our footprint as it relates to water, we use the “Water App” — a logistics and data management tool — to optimize our trucking schedule, track coordination, and improve dispatch. The mapping function within the app also provides us with greater insight into our performance, improving our overall water recycling and cost savings in Appalachia. Using the Water App, we improved water hauling schedule compliance by 27% in 2022 compared to 2021. A significant contributor to this improvement was implementing a logistics request system for supporting all water needs throughout EQT via the Water App. This streamlined the communication pathway for unplanned water hauling requests. Along with this, a dashboard was created to provide real-time visibility to the requesting party.

Wastewater Management

Management of water discharge-related impacts

In addition to adhering to applicable local and federal regulations, we follow best practices for safe wastewater disposal. We frequently evaluate wastewater treatment technologies with the potential to further reduce disposal amounts.

We work to recycle most of our wastewater by collecting flowback, drilling, and produced water to reuse when fracturing new wells. We collaborate with local peers to promote sharing wastewater for reuse and have several sharing agreements in place with other operators. These agreements generated approximately $8.4 million in cost savings in 2022 by reducing our water costs and annual transportation and disposal expenses. In 2022, we used 86% more water from third-party operators and recycling facilities via these agreements than we did in 2021. Over the last three years, we have recycled on average over 73% of the water produced from our drilling and completions operations. In 2022, we recycled 82% of our produced water.

To enhance our recycling capabilities, we use a third-party storage facility to safely store wastewater until it is ready for reuse. We do not use any wastewater for purposes other than hydraulic fracturing. We have reciprocal arrangements with other producers in Appalachia to reuse each other’s wastewater in hydraulic fracturing operations. In 2022, we recycled over 3 million barrels of our wastewater through use in other operators’ frac locations. In turn, we received over 1 million barrels of water produced by other operators for use in our operations. Overall, this resulted in over 4 million fewer billion barrels of freshwater withdrawn from the environment. 

Any wastewater that cannot be recycled is disposed of at permitted commercial disposal facilities. We typically employ underground injection control wells in Ohio, where geologic formations are most suitable for injection. We understand that seismic activity due to wastewater disposal can be a concern for stakeholders. Deep‑well injection represented approximately 18% of our total wastewater disposal in 2022. In recent years, Ohio upgraded its injection and permitting program to further address potential seismicity risks. We conduct routine inspections of these facilities to confirm compliance with operating permits. We frequently explore alternatives to injection for any wastewater we are unable to recycle. We are currently exploring produced water evaporation, with various projects set to launch in 2023. We regularly evaluate technologies ranging from small-scale units designed to reduce wastewater coming from individual well pads to larger centralized plants.

Hydraulic Fracturing

SASB EM-EP-140a.3
Percentage of hydraulically fractured wells for which there is public disclosure of all fracturing fluid chemicals used
SASB EM-EP-140a.3

Natural gas extraction often involves hydraulic fracturing — the process of injecting fluid into the well to create pressure to crack the underground shale formation and release the natural gas contained in the formation. The fluid injected into the well, referred to as fracturing fluid, is composed of water mixed with sand and a small percentage of chemical additives. To reduce the potential for groundwater impacts, our wells are completed with multiple layers of steel casing and cement through a process known as triple casing, which seals and isolates freshwater zones.

We are proud to be a charter registrant of FracFocus.org, an independent website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to disclose chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. We publicly disclose, via FracFocus, all the chemicals used in our hydraulically fractured wells and regularly update such disclosures.[1]

Additionally, we continuously explore more environmentally friendly alternatives for our fluids. We do not use diesel additives in our fracturing fluid and have worked to optimize and reduce the amount of other chemicals used.

[1] We do not directly claim any confidential business information (CBI) restrictions with respect to disclosing chemicals used in our hydraulically fractured wells; however, some of our chemical vendors and suppliers refuse to publicly detail the composition of their proprietary additives, citing CBI protections, and, therefore, the chemical makeup of our hydraulic fracturing fluid as reported on FracFocus may not be complete due to such third-party CBI restrictions. In the case that one or more chemicals in our hydraulic fracturing fluid cannot be publicly disclosed on FracFocus due to third-party CBI restrictions, the entry is marked as “Proprietary” in lieu of listing the chemical additive name or number. However, even if a chemical is marked as “Proprietary,” the supplier of the chemical and the chemical’s purpose and ingredient concentration is listed in the FracFocus report.

How We Are Doing

Management of material topic
Water withdrawal
Water consumption
SASB EM-EP-140a.1
(1) Total fresh water withdrawn, (2) total fresh water consumed, percentage of each in regions with High or Extremely High Baseline Water Stress
SASB EM-EP-140a.1

We use dashboards in our digital work environment to enable us to monitor our performance against key operational indicators — including environmental incidents — and to drive internal transparency, accountability, and improved data accuracy. We have incorporated automatic notifications to alert employees when any data concerns occur, making our operations more proactive and efficient. We also leverage our Production Control Center to optimize schedules and to monitor our assets in real time and utilize annual third-party environmental audits for select operating facilities and sites. Our water facilities have been added into our digital work environment, allowing our Production Control Center to remotely monitor and control freshwater supply pipelines and produced water gathering pumps without needing extra staff on location. We continue to add sensors to our wells with the intention of modernizing our completions activities.

We track all water withdrawals by source. In almost all cases, we immediately consume the water we withdraw and do not store water for prolonged periods of time; therefore, our withdrawal and consumption are effectively the same. As shown in the table below, our primary sources of freshwater in 2022 were surface and municipal water. While many of our water storage facilities and pits passively collect rainwater for use in our operations, rainwater continues to have a minimal impact on our water usage. Our freshwater use varies annually for the following reasons:

  • The location and seasonal availability of freshwater may not match the location and timing of drilling and completions activity;
  • The completion of more hydraulically fractured wells results in greater total water usage; and
  • The use of longer laterals — the horizontal portion of the well — requires more water for each completion on an absolute basis for each well, but reduces our overall water needs at an operator level.
Water Withdrawal/Consumption (thousands of m3)[1]




Freshwater sources   

Surface water

406 1,411 2,772
Groundwater <0.1 2

Third-party water (third party and municipal)

6,111 4,892 3,058
Total fresh water consumed[2] 6,517 6,303 5,832
Non-freshwater sources   
Produced water[3] 1,942 2,346 3,468


118 149 277
Total non-fresh water consumed 2,060 2,495 3,745
Total water consumed 8,577 8,798 9,577
Water discharge
SASB EM-EP-140a.2
Volume of produced water and flowback generated; percentage (1) discharged, (2) injected, (3) recycled; hydrocarbon content in discharged water
SASB EM-EP-140a.4
Percentage of hydraulic fracturing sites where ground or surface water quality deteriorated compared to a baseline
SASB EM-EP-140a.2
SASB EM-EP-140a.4

We do not intentionally discharge any produced water to surface water, which is why we do not disclose a strategy or standards for relevant disposal and treatment. During 2022, we did not hold any permits to discharge waste or effluent and there were no confirmed occurrences of groundwater or surface water impacts resulting from our hydraulic fracturing operations conducted in targeted formations.

Produced Water





Total volume of produced water[5] (thousands m3)




Amount and percent of produced water discharged to groundwater (thousands of m3)




Amount and percent of produced water injected (thousands of m3)




Amount and percent of produced water recycled[6] (thousands of m3)




Amount and percent of produced water reused at our sites[7] (thousands of m3)




Amount and percent of produced water delivered directly to third-party fracs[8] (thousands of m3)




Amount and percent of produced water delivered indirectly to third-party fracs via recycling facilities (thousands of m3)




Volume of hydrocarbons discharged to the environment via water (BOE)




[1] Due to the nature of natural gas extraction, virtually all water we withdraw is used immediately; therefore, “water withdrawal” and “water consumption” are synonymous for our purposes. We do not withdraw sea water.

[2] Please note, we operate primarily within areas with very low to low Baseline Water Stress (<20%) and very low risk to Water Depletion (Water Risk Filter). Some wells operated by us within Tioga County, Pennsylvania have medium Baseline Water Stress.

[3] Includes all impaired water (produced, flowback, drilling, containment, and cellar water).

[4] Includes impaired water used from other operators and third-party recycling centers.

[5] Includes all impaired water (produced, flowback, drilling, containment and cellar water, impoundment water). Includes volumes gathered via pipeline.

[6] This is the amount of EQT-produced water that is recycled by any means, including reused at our sites, delivered directly to third‑party fracs, delivered indirectly to third‑party fracs via recycling facilities, or evaporated and/or treated and discharged to the environment without creating additional waste streams. In 2020, we began tracking our specific recycling activities and have disclosed them under “Amount and percent of produced water recycled.”

[7] Amount of EQT-produced water that is reused at EQT sites only.

[8] Amount of EQT-produced water that is reused at non-EQT third-party sites.

[9] In 2020, we consumed more recycled water than we delivered indirectly to third-party fracs via recycling facilities; on a net basis, this amount is zero.

Driver of the Month

In 2022, we celebrated our water hauling business partners with a driver of the month recognition program. The goal of the program was to recognize individual water truck drivers' excellence and commitment to both EQT and the industry. Written nominations were presented to EQT each month by our water hauling company partners and a single “Driver of the Month” was selected based on outstanding performance with respect to safety, service, and cost criteria. All nominees were celebrated in a formal ceremony and the Driver of the Month was presented with an award certificate and prizes.

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