Operators are turning to new cost saving strategies as service company margins approach their maximum compression. Specifically, onshore water logistics are an area of focus. These costs have remained stubbornly high over the last five years, and longer-term operator investments are emerging in the space. We have studied new water recycling systems in the Midland Basin to demonstrate how operators can improve cash flow, enhance asset value and run more efficient development programmes by investing in cost saving, rather than revenue producing, infrastructure. We propose that the gap in project performance will widen between those operators with infrastructure and those without. In turn, the continued buildout of value-adding water systems in the Permian could eventually drive more consolidation.