One of the key management decisions for Cairn has been the manner in which we handle our water. With a majority of our operations situated in potable-water scarce regions, effective water sourcing is crucial for the uninterrupted functioning of our operations. We recognize that in the areas where we operate in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, we are the largest single consumer of water and as a result we have the responsibility to safeguard this precious resource for all other users. As a standard practice, each time we begin production operations in an area we undertake a detailed area-specific hydro-geology study to understand the volume of water supply available and the extent to which we can withdraw from natural sources. Our endeavor is to locate sources of water that are of no use to the communities and we utilize our considerable expertise in geological and sub-surface studies to locate such sources. All of our consents to operate and environmental clearances are dependent on these studies.


Additionally, we monitor the water sources closely every year from our observation wells and PHED wells in the surrounding area, so that we can know in advance any adverse changes that could occur due to our current water abstraction practices. Based on our current studies and estimates, we have abundant sources of water for our current and future needs. In Rajasthan, we estimate that our operations will impact less than 0.1% of the saline aquifer over the lifetime of our operations.


The domestic and industrial water requirements in Rajasthan and Ravva are met by desalination of the saline water we abstract. The reject from the desalination process is either disposed in disposal wells or co-mingled and injected back into the sub-surface as part of treated produced water injection.


Cairn sources almost all of the water required for the exploration, development and production in the Rajasthan Asset from the deep saline Thumbli aquifer, which is located in the Barmer district of Rajasthan. The primary source for water for our Suvali operations is met from the Gujarat Municipal Board and saline borewell water is used at our Ravva operations. The Above Ground Installation’s (AGI’s) and the storage terminals at Viramgram, Radhanpur and Bhogat consume local groundwater.


Cumulatively, nearly 98% of all of our water requirements are met through these saline sources of water. Out of the remaining 2%, nearly 1.8% is sourced from local community sources. In FY2015-16, Cairn India committed to reduce the sourcing of this local community water to zero over a three year period.