Project Canary and Colorado State University Validate Industry’s First Freshwater Analysis for RSG Certification

Denver, CO
May 5th, 2022

The freshwater metric, a collaborative effort with Colorado State University, is the first-ever peer-reviewed and published metric developed by a third-party assessor

Denver-based climate tech and environmental assessment company Project Canary and researchers at Colorado State University’s Center for Energy Water Sustainability announced that The Journal of Water Resource and Protection has published the “Technical Analysis of Freshwater Use as a Part of Responsibly Sourced Gas ESG Strategy,” a groundbreaking metric designed to measure and mitigate the effects of operations on local water resources. 

  • Project Canary’s Fresh Water Replacement Ratio (FR2) validated as an industry best practice.
  • Ascent Resources, Penn Energy Resources, PureWest Energy, Seneca Resources, and Southwestern Energy have become the first operators to achieve Project Canary’s Freshwater Verified Attribute through participation in the program.
  • First-ever peer-reviewed and published freshwater metric to emphasize reducing competitive water usage in high water stress regions and validating responsible water stewardship across all basins. 
  • Project Canary and Colorado State University’s partnership highlights engineering rigor and expertise alignment. 

In the report titled “Technical Analysis of Freshwater Use as Part of a Responsibly Sourced Gas ESG Strategy,” researchers confirmed the Fresh Water Replacement Ratio (FR2) as an industry best practice and benchmarking tool for evaluating responsible water performance. The metric quantifies operational impacts on local water supplies by measuring competitive water usage in conjunction with a localized water stress index to quantify operators’ effects on water supplies. 

The FR2 metric addresses the degree to which an operator offsets competitive water usage and minimizes impacts in areas with water scarcity issues while also considering geographic water stress factors. This framework provides transparent, quarterly data for operators to demonstrate freshwater stewardship and commitment to continuous improvement while also considering the unique characteristics of U.S. oil and gas producing basins.

“This groundbreaking study gives operators real, measurable insight into how operational practices impact water sustainability,” Ken Carlson, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, the study’s co-author, said. “Our work to drive research-backed action places them on the cutting edge of ESG data and freshwater stewardship.”

Project Canary also announced the first group of operators to achieve the Freshwater Verified Attribute through participation in the program as part of their TrustWell® rating. The group includes Ascent ResourcesPenn Energy ResourcesPureWest EnergySeneca Resources, and Southwestern Energy. As the first operators to participate in and provide data to the program, these companies are leading the way in responsible water operations. 

“Responsible water usage must be a core component of any RSG or ESG program, but today’s reporting standards lack the frequency and granularity necessary to truly understand the effects of operations on local water resources,” said Josh Zier, Head of Certifications at Project Canary and a co-author of the report. “With the FR2 tool, we’re setting the industry standard for freshwater stewardship. This gives our customers, and all stakeholders, deeper insight into one of the most critical components of operational performance.”

Click here to view this full report online.

About Project Canary

Project Canary is a climate technology company that offers an enterprise emissions data platform that helps companies identify, measure, understand, and act to reduce emissions across the energy value chain. Given its outsized impact, the Company started with methane and has since expanded to other greenhouse gasses. Project Canary’s mission is to Measure It — leveraging sophisticated software solutions to help companies improve and report on their emissions footprint. They do this by building high-fidelity sensors, ingesting data from various other technologies and sources, characterizing the accuracy of such emissions data, and deploying advanced physics-based AI-powered models to identify leaks and quantify emissions.
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