India is home to 16 percent of the world’s population but has only 4 percent of the world’s water at its disposal. India also is one of the largest producers of steel, a highly water-dependent industry. While much of that water is recycled, in 2017 the steel industry in India used approximately 118 billion gallons of water.

One of India’s largest steel makers is working to change this. As a result of a six-year effort, the business lowered its water consumption by 2.3 billion gallons — equal to one year of drinking water for more than 7.9 million people, more than the combined populations of the cities of Kolkata and Pune.


The water savings were the result of a leadership commitment on the part of the company and a partnership with Ecolab.

Through smart water management, digital technologies, such as 3D TRASAR™ Technology, and operational management services provided by Ecolab, the steel maker optimized its cooling water use in a water-stressed area. Scaling and fouling in the cooling water made it difficult to achieve higher recirculation rates in the cooling system without using a lot of water. The issues were addressed, thanks to 3D TRASAR’s real-time monitoring and control, which is used to detect and correct variations in source water quality, reducing the demand for freshwater. These efforts also led to cost savings and reductions in energy consumption.

And this is just the start. Ecolab’s digital technologies are expected to lead to even greater freshwater savings by monitoring and controlling the water quality in the mill’s other critical circuits. In addition, water use was added to an online dashboard. This was a key step toward helping the company make more informed decisions and achieving its goal of zero liquid discharge. 
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