We aim to replenish more fresh water than we consume in our operations. We will do this by being more efficient in operational freshwater use and effluent management, and by collaborating with others to replenish freshwater in stressed and scarce catchment areas where we operate.
We have set two objectives for this aim: improved efficiency of operational freshwater use and effluent management; and collaboration on the most impactful opportunities to replenish water in stressed and scarce catchments where we operate.
Water resources are increasingly under pressure from population growth, economic development, pollution and the changing climate. As stated in our human rights policy we respect the rights to water and sanitation for people who could potentially be affected by our activities, including our employees, contractors and neighbouring communities. And bp is strongly dependent on freshwater too, so we are taking action to become more water efficient.
We actively manage our freshwater demands in areas of stress and scarcity. Based on analysis using the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Global Water Risk Atlas, four of our 17 major operating sites were located in regions with medium to extremely high water stress in 2021.
In 2021 we saw a 2.2% fall in freshwater withdrawals and a 4.1% fall in freshwater consumption, compared with our 2020 baseline.
At major operating sites, 0.1% of our total freshwater withdrawals and 0.6% of freshwater consumption, were from regions with high or extremely high water stress in 2021 (compared with 4% and 8% respectively in 2020).
Our wastewater treatment performance was flat in 2021. The average chemical oxygen demand concentration of the treated water discharged from bp operated treatment facilities to the freshwater environment remained at 38mg/l in 2021.
A key focus for 2021 was evolving our water management by developing a methodology and approach to improve water efficiency. We are working to align our actions with international water stewardship good practices and to follow a water management framework.