BHP Billiton

Responsibly managing a shared resource

The sustainability of our operations relies on our ability to obtain the appropriate quality and quantity of water and to use this resource responsibly. Water risks and impacts experienced by our operations vary from region to region. Some sites are located in water scarce environments, others have to manage water excess, water quality or water discharge issues.

The social, cultural, environmental, ecological and economic values of water have also led to greater scrutiny of responsible water use and expectations from our stakeholders for improved resource stewardship.

Our target

In FY2013, we set a target that requires operations with water-related material risks, to set targets and implement projects to reduce their impacts on water resources.

This target recognises the local and regional context of water and allows operations to annually review and define the necessary projects that will best address their material water risks.

Examples of steps we are taking to manage our water risks include:

Onshore shale, safeguarding and managing environmental resources: United States

Producing gas from shale involves injecting water, sand and a small amount of chemicals under high pressure into the shale rock. This process is known as hydraulic fracturing. We are committed to be the safest company in the industry, protect the land where we operate, safeguard and manage our water resources, minimise air emissions from our operations and to be a good neighbour to our communities. We make publicly available the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids, including chemicals, through the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry.

Read more Responsibly managing hydraulic fracturing​ (PDF 1 MB)