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Water in the Energy Industry by John Simmons

stykThis book is the summary of the water component of the BP Energy Sustainability Challenge and is framed as an introduction to water used in a comprehensive range of energy industry applications and not limited to activities that BP themselves engage. It is one of several introductory books on topical subjects examining industry practice generated by the sustainability challenge and the processes and results can be applied to a range of operators and allied industries.

There are several important messages held out by this book. The main one is that at least one major player in the energy industry recognises water issues, specifically source, volumes used, waste disposal and sanctity of resources are very important to them continuing in business. The authors recognise it is a shared resource and that it must be used sustainably with reference to the commodity itself and also with reference to society.

The book is well laid out with clear chapter and subject headings, and makes good use of diagrams, schematics and charts to illustrate the discussion. There are clear side boxes to explain the chemical processes and points of information, and the explanation of units and conversation factors are at the front of the book to orient the reader, not hidden away at the back to be searched for.

The use of water within various industrial scenarios, including shale gas, nuclear, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are examined with clear referencing for data sources and well annotated schematics showing the processes that use water. Each chapter has a section that discusses risks, opportunities and innovations, as well as a chapter summary and an extensive list of references.

The book itself is well made and printed on quality FSC-certified Cocoon Silk, but more relevant is the book itself can be downloaded for free as a PDF from BPs own website at along with its companion texts for supply chain and biomass.

This book is intended for a very broad audience of engineers, environmentalists, sustainability managers and students as well as an interested general public. Although described as an introduction, it will possibly be the only text on the subject many readers will require. If the reader does require more detail, or needs to know where to look for more information the well laid out lists of references will help.

John Midgley

WATER IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY: AN INTRODUCTION by Williams E D and Simmons J E, BP, 2013. Published by BP and ON Communications, 107pp (pbk) ISBN: none List price: FREE - available as digital download from BP website