Environmental Challenge: Water Neutrality at Kothrud Plant Shifts into High Gear

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Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles highlighting Cummins’ 2014 Environmental Challenge winners. Follow us on Twitter @Cummins or sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter to be notified of new articles. For more information on the Environmental Challenge, see the bottom of this article.

At Cummins’ one of our values is to take Corporate Responsibility in communities in which we serve. As a company we are always looking to improve and serve the areas in which we operate from.

Pune, India, has experienced drastic growth over the last 50 years which has created water scarcity issues for the city.  These issues can be traced to the recent urban development that has removed natural water resources. Cummins Kothrud Plant, located near Pune, consumes about 47 million gallons of water annually. This inspired the plant’s Community Involvement Team (CIT) to conduct an Environmental Challenge-winning project.

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The first goal for Cummins was to achieve water neutrality for the site by conserving water within the plant and preserving the towns existing water bodies.  Lastly, to preserve the town’s existing water bodies. In Pune a lot of residents will walk more than three kilometers to access two buckets of water.

To achieve water neutrality a variety of initiatives were implemented by the Cummins Project Team.

Desilting of the Khadakwasla Dam

Four of the major dams in Pune, India that are crucial to the city’s water supply are below levels to serve the needs of the area. To help with this problem, the team had 38,800 trucks desilt the Khadakwasla Lake. This added three million gallons of water to the lake.

Cummins employees partnered with Green Thumb, a local environmental advocacy group to plant trees along the reservoir bank. The planting of trees will help prevent future soil erosion and further silting of the dam. Pipes were also installed to divert water runoff. This generated an additional 278 million gallons of water. The water generated by these methods alone will supply enough water for the Pune region for more than three and a half days.

Rejuvenating Three Wells

The community and Cummins helped rejuvenate three depleted wells that now have a surplus of water. The wells will provide a total water savings of 96,000 gallons annually that will benefit eight of the nearby villages. As part of a sustainability control plan, information pamphlets were distributed at town council meetings to provide guidance on groundwater management.

Promoting Recycling to Students

Cummins collaborated with Jalbiradari, a recycling advocate organization, to encourage school children to recycle plastics. In 2014, 11 tons of plastic were recycled by 21,000 students in the Pune region. Both recycling and water conservation efforts will generate an additional 5.9 million gallons of water.

Residential Rain Harvesting

Cummins worked with Shashwat Eco Solutions, a rain water harvesting consultant, to install rain water harvesting solutions in three housing complexes in Pune. These efforts will lead to annual water savings of 65,000 gallons and monetary savings of $1,650 to $2,700 per housing complex.

Identifying and Plugging Water Leaks

On average, 20 percent to 30 percentof the water supplied to the Pune region are lost because of leaky pipes and household taps. Cummins adopted eight residential communities and colleges in the Pune region and replaced 43 leaking taps to save 130,000 gallons of water.

As a result of these efforts the Kothrud Plant is water neutral by generating 3.38 billion gallons of water for the area. The Kothrud plant will continue to focus on water conservation initiatives by stopping cleared silt from re-entering the lake and desilting another portion of the Khadakwasla dam. Lastly, by promoting the importance of home water conservation and creating awareness about water conservation in educational institutions.

 About the Environmental Challenge

The Environmental Challenge was introduced to incorporate Cummins’ commitment to our environment. It supports Cummins’ Mission Statement of “Demanding that everything we do leads to a cleaner, healthier and safer environment.” The Challenge was created in 2009 to celebrate Cummins’ 90th anniversary and promote Environment priority areas.

For more information on sustainability efforts at Cummins, visit the Sustainability section of our corporate website and download the 2015 Sustainability Report.

 

 

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