World Water Day: Time for a Conservation Conversation

World Water Day: Time for a Conservation Conversation

In commemoration of World Water Day on March 22, here are some of the ways GM is reducing water use throughout its global operations.
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.@GM FastLane: Time for a conservation conversation around #WorldWaterDay @UNW_WWD

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Friday, March 20, 2015 - 1:55pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation


Water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, but only three percent of all the water on the planet is fresh water. And less than 1 percent is readily available through rivers and streams to sustain more than 7 billion people on earth.

As members of the global community, both individuals and businesses have a responsibility to protect this resource.

That’s why the United Nations established March 22 as World Water Day in 1993 to raise awareness and inspire global action around water conservation. In commemoration of Sunday’s observance, here we share some of the actions we’ve taken at our global facilities

  • Our Saginaw Metal Castings Operations developed a wetland that naturally purifies non-manufacturing wastewater from the plant. The filtered water flows into an adjacent wetland that provides sustenance to the habitat’s native vegetation. The facility’s environmental engineers also use the wetland as an environmental learning ground for Boy Scout troops and students involved in Science Olympiad, a nationwide science education program and competition.
  • GM facilities in Brazil use wetlands and containment lakes for organic wastewater treatment and environmental education, too. Employees invited students to tour our Joinville, São Caetano do Sul and Mogi das Cruzes plants last year and learn how sustainable manufacturing practices help preserve local watersheds and the flora and fauna that rely on them.
  • Our Ramos Arizpe Complex in Mexico developed a three-acre artificial lagoon onsite. Structures installed around and floating on top of the water provide a habitat for migrating and local birds, including vermilion flycatchers, northern shovelers and killdeers. In this arid area, there’s little standing water and the lagoon gives both native and migratory ducks, bats and birds a place to rest.
  • Employee engagement is a big part of our Zaragoza facility’s conservation efforts. The Spanish plant regularly shares water conservation tips with employees on ways they can help contribute to Zaragoza’s progress by using water more efficiently. The plant has also organized a two-day outing that included a tour of environmentally protected lands and a canoe trip down the Ebro River.

Whether it’s reusing water in pretreatment processes in our paint shops or capturing rainwater to feed manufacturing equipment cooling towers at various plants, we are committed to resource preservation and reducing water use throughout our operations.

What are some of the ways you conserve water in your home or business? Share in the comments below and follow @UNW_WWD on Twitter for more of the #WorldWaterDay conversation.

CATEGORY: Environment