The drought that has been plaguing Texas over the past couple of years has brought about a dramatic change in the way local drilling companies see water resources. While just a few years ago drillers thought that water recycling systems were nothing but an unnecessary expense, these days the vast majority of shale gas and oil drilling companies have fully embraced water recycling.

This change of attitude has helped the water recycling systems industry pick up dramatically. According to Paul Schlosberg, co-founder and chief financial officer of Water Rescue Services, drilling companies are now seeing recycling as an economic solution to water issues. Such systems have helped drillers not only to cut down on their freshwater use but also to reduce the amount of wastewater they dispose of, he told the Associated Press.

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In fact, the rate at which drilling companies are adopting water recycling systems is prompting regulators to look for ways to facilitate recycling. In 2012 the number of companies that were approved for receiving recycling permits was 30, compared to an average of two per year in 2011. In response to this increased demand for recycling the Texas Railroad Commission reformed its rules earlier this year, effectively scrapping the need for a permit for companies that recycle on their own lease or a third-party property.

Ramona Nye, spokeswoman for the Commission, told the Associated Press in an email that the new rules are designed to encourage recycling and help drillers reduce freshwater use.