SB-1281 faced strong industry opposition due to the bill’s requirement that oil and gas drilling companies use recycled water for new operations during drought emergencies.  Industry representatives have stated that such requirements would violate the California constitution and other laws.  In response, the bill’s author, Senator Fran Pavley, last week agreed to amendments, which removed the requirement for use of recycled water.  As currently drafted, the bill requires reporting, rather than a restriction, on water use.  In summary, the bill would require:

  • the use, or treatment and use, of water produced through oil field activities and recycled water to the extent feasible
  • operators to submit quarterly statement to the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to include the source and amount of fluid or gas injected into each well, and the source and amount of water to generate such fluid or gas
  • disclosures of additional information related to the treatment of water and use of treated or recycled water