Water is involved in most steps of the CCS process. Current capture technologies require additional water supplies at the site of CO2 generation, either as a direct result of the capture process or indirectly by making the electricity needed to power the capture facility. Hover your mouse over the images in the diagram to learn more about water use.
Within the CO2 storage zone itself, the impact of storage activities on appropriately targeted rock formations has been shown to be minimal. CCS activities require great depth, and in most cases, the carefully selected formations will be separated from potable water by hundreds to thousands of feet of rock, consisting of multiple low-permeability rock layers (or formations). Extracting water (removing formation water from the carbon storage zone) is not necessary for carbon storage, although it may be beneficial in individual circumstances. The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL’s) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships are actively testing the various phases of CCS to identify safe, efficient, stable, and cost-effective methods to minimize impacts to the surrounding environment, both aboveground and belowground. State and federal regulations currently exist or are being developed to further ensure that CCS activities will be conducted in a responsible manner.