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Putting a value on water usage is evident in both how we make our products and how they interact with the earth. Our goal of reducing water consumption in our facilities by 15% per ton of production means we have to be smarter and more efficient in our processes. Examples of how this can be done range from rethinking a paint system's wash stages to collecting rain water and using it for irrigation.
Responsibly using Mother Nature's resources is an effective way to support the environment that John Deere works hard to protect, as evidenced in Brazil and China.
Our John Deere Brasil Catalão (Brazil) factory installed a rain water catchment system used for irrigation and floor cleaning at a quality inspection location inside the facility. A black light project was installed to identify oil leaks during equipment testing. Engineers took advantage of rain water that collects on the roof and diverted it to a collection reservoir. Using the water collected, the inspection floor can be cleaned and grounds can be irrigated, conserving water usage in the factory.
At John Deere's Tianjin (China) factory, summer monsoon rains are being collected to take care of the facility's grounds. Tanks were constructed and placed under downspouts, allowing the rain water to be collected. The tanks create a reserve of approximately 15,000 gallons of rain water to be used for irrigation. Over the course of a year, the collection amounts to about 180,000 gallons of water.
A factory's paint system is one of the largest consumers of energy and water in any John Deere manufacturing facility. At Deere's Seeding Moline and Valley City (North Dakota) factories, a simple process change helped conserve more than 1 million gallons of water annually.
The reuse of reverse osmosis water in multiple wash stages in the paint system led to the water reduction. It was recycling at its best. In addition to reducing the amount of water consumed, it reduced the amount of non-hazardous waste generated.