MAP. Which 51 water-intensive industrial sites are committed to reducing their consumption?

These sites, which represent 25% of the water consumption of the entire industry, promise to reduce their use by “more than 10%” before 2030.


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The Novacarb industrial site in Laneuveville-devant-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), September 7, 2020. (CEDRIC JACQUOT / L’EST REPUBLICAIN / MAXPPP)

They are among the largest consumers in the country. Fifty-one industrial sites have committed to reducing their water use by “more than 10%” before 2030 and even “further beyond”announced on France 2 Cristophe Béchu, Minister of Ecological Transition, Friday March 22.

These 51 infrastructures alone represent 25% of the water consumption of all French industry”, he added, before going to the Novacarb site, near Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), alongside the Minister of Industry Roland Lescure. Four other sites have also joined this sobriety plan.

The industry responsible for 8% of fresh water withdrawals

Among the players targeted by this plan are several installations of the steel giant ArcelorMittal, one of Coca-Cola, one of Danone and one of Saint-Gobain, according to a map distributed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Chemistry and agri-food represent more than half of the sites concerned. Bouches-du-Rhône, around the Etang de Berre, welcomes nine of the project participants.

This announcement comes almost a year after the launch of the water plan by the government. Industrial uses represent approximately 5% of water consumption (non-returned) in France, according to statistical data from the ministry, behind agriculture (57%), consumption of drinking water (26%) and cooling of nuclear power plants (12%).

Industry is also responsible for 8% of fresh water withdrawals, behind the cooling of power plants (51%), the supply of canals (16%), the production of drinking water (16%) and the agriculture (9%). Between 2003 and 2017, the volume collected for industrial use fell by 29%, according to a study (PDF document) published in 2020 by the French Biodiversity Office.

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