Colorado School of Mines and ConocoPhillips have announced the establishment of the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST (Water-Energy Education, Science and Technology) at Colorado School of Mines with a leadership investment of $3 million in the university. The centre will focus on research and education that promote joint sustainability of unconventional energy production and water resources. “By establishing this unique centre at Colorado School of Mines, ConocoPhillips demonstrates the value it places on educating students about the technical aspects of energy and water resources, and exposing them to the critical sustainability questions that arise around unconventional energy production,” says Mines President Bill Scoggins. “The centre will advance our expertise in earth, energy and environment, and further strengthen our longstanding partnership with ConocoPhillips.”Mines Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Terri Hogue will serve as director of the centre, for areas of focus will include education; community acceptance, communication and corporate social responsibility research; and integrated water resources assessment research. The research and educational initiatives undertaken at the centre will benefit not only unconventional energy producers and water-reliant industrial stakeholders, but also the general public.“We cannot be a leading Exploration and Production company without also being a great water company,” says Al Hirshberg, Executive Vice President, Technology & Projects, ConocoPhillips. “The ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST is an important extension of our existing global efforts around water sustainability.”ConocoPhillips takes a comprehensive approach and implements action plans to respect water resources and support the company’s sustainable efforts. In 2013, the company’s actions included reducing water use per well for hydraulic fracturing in Eagle Ford by about 45% and establishing a Water Solutions group to ensure it has the technology and technical capability to meet future water management goals. In Doha, Qatar, the company’s Global Water Sustainability Center uses state-of-the-art analytical capabilities to advance the science around produced water treatment, seawater desalination and water reuse and recycling. Research is then shared across the company.“Challenges presented by water are diverse and highly specialized,” says Fran Vallejo, Vice President and Treasurer, ConocoPhillips, and a Colorado School of Mines graduate. “They require innovative ideas and solutions from the best and brightest minds, which is why we are proud to collaborate with Colorado School of Mines to develop this state-of-the-art centre.”ConocoPhillips has a longstanding commitment to Colorado School of Mines. By supporting education, charitable giving, volunteerism and civic leadership, the company helps build skills critical for the future. Through this and other educational contributions, ConocoPhillips aims to advance research in secondary and technical education; support diversity of the talent pool in math, science and engineering disciplines; and improve effectiveness of primary education.