Toyota Practices Water Conservation

Toyota is serious about water conservation: the company saved 93.3 million gallons of water in North America in 2014. Certified LEED Toyota and Lexus dealers are reducing water use by over 20 percent. That'a good ,because drought is a big problem in the U.S. Thirty-six states are facing water shortages; the entire state of California is in drought. The San Antonio area of Texas has suffered from drought since the 1990s. Even parts of western Canada are experiencing water shortage, and water scarcity in Mexico is a big problem. Water shortages may be the norm in the future. By 2030 the global water demand will be 40 percent more than today’s supply, according to research by the 2030 Water Resources Group. 
 
Toyota conducted an analysis of its North American locations and mapped them using Aqueduct, a tool developed by the World Resources Institute. Part of Aqueduct is the Water Risk Atlas which shows that 19 of Toyota’s North American locations are in high water risk areas. This includes its three manufacturing plants in Long Beach, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Tecate, Baja California. 
 
San Antonio relies heavily on water from the Edwards Aquifer. Since the early 1990s the Edwards Aquifer has had limits on pumping. Toyota’s plant in San Antonio used about one million gallons of recycled water per production day, or 250 million gallons, in 2013. The recycled water goes through treatment and filtration processes before it reaches the plant via purple pipes. 
 
Working towards water reduction 
 
Toyota’s goal is to reduce water withdrawals by six percent per vehicle by 2016.  In 2014, Toyota achieved a one percent reduction. There are examples of Toyota’s water conservation practices in North America that will help the company meet its ambitious goal:
• Toyota’s engine plant in Alabama saves 300,000 gallons of water annually by reusing compressor condensate water in the cooling tower. 
• Toyota’s Texas assembly plant has used about 1.9 billion gallons of recycled water since 2007 instead of using fresh water drawn from the Edwards Aquifer. 
 
From the use reverse osmosis systems to reducing water used in the painting process 
 
Toyota saves 73 million gallons of water a year by using reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate recovery systems. That much water equals 110 Olympic-size swimming pools. The RO recovery systems filter and purify water that was discharged from Toyota’s plants to a local water treatment facility. RO recovery systems are at Toyota’s assembly plants in Princeton, Indiana; Georgetown, Kentucky; Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario; and Tecate, Mexico. 
Lexus South Paint shop at Toyota’s Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) reduced water use by 35 percent in one process in 2013. Every vehicle is rinsed a number of times during the painting process. In just one rinse cycle, 123 gallons of water are sprayed on a vehicle. The water used to go directly to the drain and discharged, but now it is captured, cleaned of metals and phosphate and used for rinsing at a different stage. By capturing and reusing the water, the South Paint shop avoids using 43 gallons of water per vehicle. In one year, 12.3 million gallons of water a year are recycled. 
 
Photo: Daniel
 
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