Does Concrete production utilize more water?
Although many of the Environmental effects of concrete production have been thoroughly researched, little attention has been paid to how much water it consumes. However, a study that seeks to quantify the impact of concrete production on global water withdrawals comes to some startling conclusions and predictions.
Figures from 2012 demonstrate the magnitude of the problem: Water withdrawals for the concrete industry accounted for 9% of total industry withdrawals and 1.7 percent of total global withdrawals.
The researchers also predicted that by 2025, 75 percent of the demand for concrete will come from areas that are already expected to be water stressed. Existing strategies to reduce water demand include better electricity fuel mix choices and improved raw material processing, but these strategies may increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions above target levels.
The Concrete Industry’s Water Management
The industry relies heavily on water management. Companies must withdraw less water from local aquifers while also ensuring that effluent quality standards are met.
Companies must first understand the site water flows before managing the quantities of water withdrawn and the quality of water released, with special attention paid to water stressed areas. Actions must be taken to offset the industry's water footprint, particularly at the local level, where individual facilities and activities can have ramifications for other water users in the area, using a risk-based approach.
Concrete Production and Water Stress
The United States, India, and China have a high correlation of water stress to concrete production, while France, Germany, and the United Kingdom will likely see less growth. Brazil and India, on the other hand, are expected to increase their concrete production by 80% and 90%, respectively, between 2012 and 2050, likely further taxing their water resources.
Strategies for Mitigation
Water is used in the cement industry for a variety of purposes, including mixing and aggregate washing, as well as washing of equipment and trucks. The temperature, acidity, and amount of suspended solids in discharged water vary depending on the process, and it may be unfit for discharge without treatment. Water recycling is common in the industry due to its reliance on water, with water frequently reused in production and for domestic use within the plant.
The use of carbon dioxide instead of water to cure concrete is one strategy for making concrete production more sustainable. Its manufacturing process recycles 60 to 80 percent of the water consumed.
How can Netsol Water help?
Netsol Water is a significant water and wastewater treatment firm in India, offering WTP, WWTP, STP, ETP and RO Plant manufacture, among other services. We are committed to providing our valued customers with hands-on service, expert counselling, and training. Every environmental problem and its management have a solution in us. We believe in sustainable water management practices, thus we try to develop technologies that treat wastewater to the highest extent as possible.