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Essar has in place water conservation initiatives that are both environment-friendly and economically sound


February 25, 2013 Bookmark and Share  

Water, one of our most precious natural resources, is becoming increasingly insufficient to meet demand as consumption increases. Rising urbanization and industrialization as well as multiplying populations have taken a toll on the availability of water.

In this situation, it is imperative for all communities to take every step to conserve this precious resource. There has been a worldwide call to conserve water and the goal of access to clean and adequate water sources has been listed in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

One of the most efficient methods of water conservation is rainwater harvesting, where run-off rainwater from roofs and open grounds is collected in large storage tanks before it can reach the aquifer. Rainwater harvesting is efficient because it helps reduce our dependence on groundwater, giving the rapidly diminishing water table time to replenish.

As an environmentally-conscious corporate citizen, Essar Steel has several water conservation initiatives in place at its facility at Hazira. It was observed that water-logging was a constant problem in the steel complex and every year there was a huge outflow of water into the sea during the monsoon. A plan was put forward to harness this rainwater and use it to the company’s advantage. A team was formed to study the potential areas in the complex and the township where rainwater harvesting would be feasible and an action plan was framed accordingly. The required infrastructure was created to pump rainwater sequentially from the different earmarked areas into large rainwater tanks. Essar Steel's rainwater harvesting initiatives are not just environment-friendly, they also make immense economic sense.

The action plan
Essar Steel's water conservation initiatives were put into practice when the company built a cold rolling mill (CRM) complex. In 2007, a reservoir was constructed next to the campus coffee shop, with the capacity to collect 180,000 m3 (cubic meters) of water every monsoon; this was designed to hold the water harvested from the rooftops of all the CRM shops in the facility. Later, three more reservoirs of 10,000m3 capacity were built in the complex. In 2010, the cricket ground at the Hazira township was built in such a way that water run-off leads to the main reservoir; the rainwater thus harvested totals an average of 50,000m3 during the monsoon season. With this infrastructure in place, the rainwater harvesting capacity of the complex grew from 1.12 lakh m3 in 2008 to an impressive 2.19 lakh m3 in 2011.

Reaping the benefits
Any successful conservation activity is always rewarded with great benefits, and Essar Steel's water harvesting activity has been no different. Essar Steel is using rainwater for several of its water-intensive processes by converting it into industrial grade water and thus bringing down its dependence on groundwater. The company has accrued enormous savings of Rs28.5 lakh in the year 2011 by reducing its intake of water from River Tapi.


Rain Water
Collected in
Lakhs m3

Volume of Rain Water Harvested /Collected(Cu M)[Equivalent quantity of fresh water intake reduced]

Savings in
Lakhs Rs



112200 @ Rs10/Cu M




109780 @ Rs11/Cu M




218150 @ Rs12.1/Cu M




219089 @ Rs13.31/Cu M


Essar Steel has also taken its learning from the initiatives at its Hazira plant to the community and has encouraged the use of rainwater harvesting mechanisms in industries and villages in the vicinity of the plant. Local fishing communities have benefited greatly by the restoration of the water bodies.

Awards galore
Essar Steel has been feted by various government and non-governmental organizations for its water conservation initiatives. The company has received the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Excellent Water Efficient Unit Award in the ‘Within the Fence’ category in the years 2009 and 2011. In 2007, it received CII’s Excellent Water Efficient Unit Award in the ‘Beyond the Fence’ category. In 2010-11, Essar Steel was recognized as the Most Innovative Project of the Year at the Water Digest Water Awards (WDWA) ceremony and the following year, in 2011-12, it received the Best Water Efficient Project at the same forum. In 2012, Essar Steel received the award for Industrial Water Efficiency at the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) Water Awards.

It is in recognition of the critically depleting levels of potable water in the country and the extreme pressure on available sources of all water, that Essar Steel has deployed efficient water conservation mechanisms to successfully replenished diminishing water resources in an economical manner.

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