Automakers Reduce Their Plants Water ConsumptionBy Sofía Garduño | Fri, 03/25/2022 - 16:52
In observance of the World Water Day 2022, Audi, General Motors (GM) and Nissan shared their strategies to sustainably manage water in their plants in Mexico. Apart from their commitment with the environment, automakers seek to implement sustainable strategies as Mexican regulations require the industry to only use 3 percent of the water available, whereas agriculture can use 60 percent.
“In Audi Mexico, we implement actions in environmental matters that aim to optimize water consumption and return benefits to the region, Mexico and the world in general,” said Tarek Mashhour, President, Audi Mexico. The brand’s plan in Mexico is to produce vehicles without external discharges of water. Audi reduced the water it used to manufacture the Q5 vehicle in San Jose Chiapa, Puebla, by 50 percent and implemented the EcoDryScrubber paint overspray retrieval technology, which requires no water use. The brand’s inverse osmosis technology allowed Audi to reuse 200 million liters of water.
GM has also implemented actions to use water efficiently in Mexico. Its San Luis Potosi complex is characterized for being zero-discharge, so the generated residual water is sent to treatment plants after which it will be reused in productive processes or sent to vaporization lakes.
Nissan intends to reduce its plants’ water consumption by 21 percent. Its plant in Aguascalientes stores 19,000 m3 of rainwater, which represents 40 percent of the water used at the facility. The use of rainwater has allowed the plant to avoid the extraction of 53,300 m3 of groundwater from the area.
The World Water Day 2022 focused on raising awareness of the importance of groundwater, which represents 50 percent of drinking water, 40 percent of water used in irrigation and about one third of the water used for industry, as reported by UNESCO. “Water can be a source of conflict but also of cooperation. It is essential that we work together to provide better stewardship of all water sources, including the world’s supply of groundwater. We need to improve our exploration, monitoring and analysis of groundwater resources to protect and better manage them and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),” said Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, UN.
The sixth SDG aims to ensure the availability of safe drinking water and sanitation worldwide, while focusing on the sustainable management of water resources, wastewater and ecosystems. In Mexico, 57 percent of the population does not use a safely managed drinking water service and 40 percent of domestic wastewater is not being safely treated. Also, only 33 percent of the renewable water resources in Mexico are being withdrawn, after taking into account environmental flow requirements, as reported by the UN.