Out of all water available on the planet, only about 1% is easily accessible for consumption. Approximately 97% is salt water, while the majority of remaining freshwater is frozen in ice caps and glaciers, which overall is difficult to access.
Almost two decades ago, Ford had aimed to reduce its per-vehicle water usage by almost 72%. By 2013, the brand had already saved more than 10 billion gallons of water, and perhaps more digestible terms, that’s the same as 15,000 competition-sized swimming pools; or over 3 hours 40 minutes of thunderous Niagara Falls flow.
While an admirable target, Ford sought to do more, setting itself an aspirational long-term goal of using zero fresh water in its manufacturing. That target is still in Ford’s sights, and the company has already made considerable steps towards ensuring that the only fresh water use at its facilities is for human consumption.
At Ford’s Chennai Vehicle Assembly and Engine Plant (CVAEP), fresh water consumption is down to an incredible 1.17 m3 per vehicle – from 7.3 m3 per vehicle only a decade ago. Having identified an alternate source of grey water to treat for use in non-production activities, the smart water efficiency processes see it recycle almost 100 per cent of industrial waste water for use in manufacturing.
Ford’s Sanand Vehicle Assembly & Engine Plant in Gujarat has zero water discharge, with a 110,000 m3 rain water harvesting pond used for pallet washing, irrigation, and with plans in place to replace the cooling tower’s water with rainwater, too
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