One of the biggest challenges in the oil and gas industry today is not those highly desired hydrocarbon products but water. It is both sought after and avoided, two midstream executives told attendees at Hart Energy’s DUG Midcontinent Conference & Exhibition here Nov. 15.

How important is it? Water can make or break a play.

“The rig count correlates with water source needs,” Michael Dunkel, vice president-water for the engineering firm Jacobs, emphasized in his presentation. If a region lacks water-handling assets then development slows to a stop.