Although roughly 70 percent of our planet is covered with water, drinkable water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource. The United Nations has defined access to clean water as one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals; BASF supports the SDGs and is committed to a responsible use of water along the entire value chain.
Water is of fundamental importance in chemical production. It is used as a coolant, solvent and cleaning agent, as well as to make our products. As a company we are committed to its responsible use in our production sites’ water catchment areas, and along the entire value chain. We have set ourselves a global goal for sustainable water management. The focus lies on 70 global sites, where water is especially scarce, as well as on all Verbund sites.
BASF recirculates water as much as is feasible in order to withdraw less from supply sources. Our larger sites have recooling plants that allow water to be reused several times and that reduce the temperature of used cooling water before it is discharged back into a body of water. The supply, treatment, transportation and recooling of water is associated with a high energy demand. We employ various means in our efforts to keep this as low as possible and we are constantly working to optimize our energy consumption and the amount of water used, and to adapt to the needs of our business and the environment.
Different products and solutions provided by BASF help purify water, use it more efficiently and reduce pollution. One example is Sokalan®, a dispersing agent that prevents buildup of deposits. The product helps prolong the durability of seawater desalination plants, which make an important contribution to supplying the world’s population with drinking water, increasing their productivity. The Middle East’s dry climate, for example, makes the region particularly dependent on this technology. The largest desalination plant in the United Arab Emirates is located in Jebel Ali. BASF supplies it with more than 3,000 metric tons of Sokalan® PM 15l per year; this product prevents the buildup of deposits, emerging from desalination, enabling the plant to generate up to 2 million cubic meters of desalinated water each day.
More information and a slide show introducing some BASF colleagues who are contributing to sustainable water use is provided here.