Water reductions at Ford's Chihuahua Engine Plant
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive company based in Dearborn, Michigan, which manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. It has about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide. Ford opened its Chihuahua Engine Plant (CHEP) in Chihuahua City, Mexico, in 1983. As water resources became increasingly stressed, the company began to look for ways to reduce water footprint and limit its impact on the local community. Although CHEP has its own wells and water supply lines, the company is aware of the negative impact on the availability of water resources for the local communities. The first steps involved significant changes in its manufacturing processes to stop using potable water for anything except human use. The company reuses water from its own wastewater treatment plant, which has been updated and modified to recycle water from the city’s water system by using reverse-osmosis technology. About 80 per cent of the treated water is used for the company’s own industrial processes (cooling towers of compressor machines, washing machines and other coolant systems). The remaining 20 per cent is used for land irrigation around the plant.