Growing Cotton in Texas with Recycled Produced Water Changing Produced Water Laws in Texas

Changing Produced Water Laws in Texas

Houston, TX (PRNewswire) November 9, 2015 - - Energy Water Solutions (“EWS”) today announces the culmination of a six-month project to irrigate a cotton crop in Pecos, Texas, using recycled produced water from nearby oil and natural gas activity in the Delaware Basin.  This cotton-growing project is the first of its kind in Texas and required a groundbreaking coalition of partners to make it happen. 

The coalition for this project included the Texas Railroad Commission, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC), Gibson Energy (TSX: GEI) and EWS.  The AgriLife Research station in Pecos, Texas, was selected as the site for the project based on its ability to host advanced research in crop science.  A detailed whitepaper will be authored by the AgriLife team to document both the crop and soil science experienced during the six-month project.  The outcome of the whitepaper will form the foundation for the discussion about adapting water laws in Texas to facilitate similar conservation efforts.  Bob Avant, Program Director for Texas A&M AgriLife Research, said, “This project fits the purpose of our Pecos Research facility perfectly.  It is exciting to have the Texas oil and natural gas industry and agriculture working together on beneficial uses of produced water."

The Railroad Commission has the jurisdiction for granting the permit to allow for the produced water to be used on the research facility.  It granted the permit to EWS for the research of recycled produced water to be used as a water source for growing cotton.  David Porter, Chairman of the Railroad Commission, said, “I have always said that the only thing more important to the economic future of Texas than oil and gas, is WATER. The Railroad Commission updated its rules to remove regulatory barriers that hindered operators from developing innovations that encourage water recycling and conservation. This creative, collaborative effort between Texas A&M, Anadarko, Gibson Energy and Energy Water Solutions serves as evidence that the free-market is doing its job, and I want to sincerely commend them for their innovative work and their contribution to the state of Texas.”

The produced water used in the research was provided by Anadarko, which owns and operates oil and natural gas wells in the Delaware Basin in close proximity to the Pecos Research Station.  Chad McAllaster, Vice President of Anadarko’s Operations for West Texas said, “We recognize the importance of water, particularly in a region such as West Texas where it can be scarce at times. This is the reason we put significant emphasis on being a responsible user of water, participating in studies, gathering data and tailoring our water-management strategies with a conservation focus.”

The produced water was stored and recycled onsite at the Research Station.  Gibson Energy provided the storage for both the produced water and the recycled water used in the field.  EWS used its patented technology to recycle the water to a standard suitable for growing the cotton.  Bill Weathersby, CEO of EWS said “We have used our patented technology to do this in other states and wanted to work with the proper group in Texas to show this is possible.  I think the ability to pull together this type of coalition speaks to the importance of the water issues in the state”.


The cotton will be harvested in late November and will be tested by the AgriLife team.  The full report is expected to be available in January 2016.

About the Railroad Commission

Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit


About Texas A&M Agrilife

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is the state’s premier research agency in agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences that conducts hundreds of projects spanning many scientific disciplines to deliver life-sustaining and industry-changing impacts to citizens throughout Texas and around the world.  A member of The Texas A&M University System, AgriLife Research collaborates with the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and many others to help fulfill the A&M System’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, extension, and service.

About Anadarko

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation's (NYSE: APC) mission is to deliver a competitive and sustainable rate of return to shareholders by exploring for, acquiring and developing oil and natural gas resources vital to the world's health and welfare. As of year-end 2014, the company had approximately 2.86 billion barrels-equivalent of proved reserves, making it one of the world's largest independent exploration and production companies. For more information about Anadarko and APC Flash Feed updates, please visit

About Energy Water Solutions

EWS is a total water management firm providing cost-saving solutions to oil and gas producers across the entire life of lease. EWS has provided innovative produced water recycling, disposal and evaporation solutions in basins across the country, including the Eagle Ford, Delaware, Fayetteville and Niobrara. The company believes that smart water management is key to both lowering costs for oil and gas producers and to good environmental stewardship.

Download this press release here.


For more information, contact: 

Energy Water Solutions
9595 Six Pines Drive, Suite 8210
The Woodlands, TX 77380