Ford is reducing its water use much faster than expected, and touting the achievement with another infographic. During 2012, the global automaker achieved an 8.5 percent reduction in the amount of water used to make its vehicles, putting Ford more than halfway toward its target of using an average of four cubic meters per vehicle globally by 2015.

Ford has been working on water conservation since 2000, and so far has reduced the amount of water used for vehicle production by 10.6 billion gallons, or 62 percent. Its annual water usage has dropped from 64 million cubic meters to 24 million cubic meters during that time. Ford compares the reduction to the amount of water that could fill 16,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools or the water used by about 99,000 US homes in a year.

The methods used to reduce water use vary by plant and address everything from cooling towers to parts washing to plant operations. At its Chennai Assembly plant in India, Ford installed a new system that allows the plant to recycle all of its water. At its two assembly plants in Chongqing, China, the automaker added advanced water treatment equipment to improve recycling. The first assembly plant recycles an average of 100,000 gallons of water daily and the second plant averages 65,000 gallons daily.

Ford says that its water strategy complements the company’s overall Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibilities. The water strategy also lines up with Ford’s “Blueprint for Sustainability,” which was started up to reduce its energy use, CO2 emissions and landfill waste.

By Jon LeSage

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