Sahibabad, India, Green Team Conserves Water, Harvests Rain to Benefit Environment, Community

Jul 20, 2017 1:25 PM ET

Our manufacturing facility in Sahibabad, India, is in the heart of India's water crisis. The country's water shortage – caused by drought, urbanization, a dramatically increasing population and more – leaves 77 million people in India without access to safe drinking water and overstresses groundwater resources.

"We're taking the water shortage seriously," said Dinesh Vasishtha, safety leader at the Sahibabad facility, which manufactures power tools, fluid pumps and material handling products. "So we're taking steps to make sure we use this vital natural resource wisely, and we've made a big impact thanks to everyone at the Sahibabad plant."

Sahibabad's Green Team jumped into action and spearheaded an effort to reduce its water consumption while recharging the groundwater supply with harvested rainwater. Their efforts are making a positive impact on local water resources, and therefore the community.

Reducing water consumption
The Green Team began working in 2014 to measure and reduce the facility's water consumption. By implementing standard work and important upgrades to the facility's domestic and industrial wastewater treatment plants, the team:

  • Reduced water consumption by 43 percent
  • Reduced treated effluent by 20 percent
  • Reduced hazardous waste by 30 percent

Groundwater level is decreasing
India's groundwater is decreasing at an alarming rate, in part due to lack of rainfall and increasing urban sprawl that keeps rainwater from percolating through the ground to the water table. Increased strain on groundwater caused by an ever-growing population and overuse by farming is also stressing underground water resources.

"The groundwater level in this area is going down each year because water is being used faster than it can be replenished," said Plant Leader Sunil Khanduja. "It's very upsetting to the people who live here. We realized that we needed to consider how to conserve this precious resource while still using it in our operations. We found that we could make the biggest impact by harvesting rainwater to recharge the groundwater supply."

Harvesting rainwater to recharge groundwater
The team got to work building a system to collect rainwater and filter it before putting it back into the water table. This process – called groundwater recharging – puts 4,500 kiloliters (about 1.2 million gallons) of rainwater back into the ground each year.

​"Out of all of our water conservation efforts, rainwater harvesting makes the biggest impact on the environment," Khanduja said. "It's the most sustainable and effective way to make water available in the most hard-hit areas for years to come. We're very proud that we can help the environment, our local community and society in general through this project."