Mexico Plants Making Wise Use of Water

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Water can be a scarce in certain regions of Mexico, but Cummins plants in the country have implemented a variety of initiatives to use the resource wisely.

At Cummins New and ReCon Parts in San Luis Potosi, plant officials are monitoring soil moisture in green areas to create efficient irrigation methods.

They harvest rainwater from a cistern with a capacity of 3,612 cubic meters and 17,000 square meters of grass were replaced with native vegetation that consumes less water.

The plant has also been experimenting with a gel that looks like grains of sugar that can absorb and retain water, reducing the need for irrigation in green areas by as much as 50 percent.

These steps and others are making a difference in the plant’s water consumption.

“In 2009, water used for irrigation was 47 percent of our total consumption,” said Edna Espinoza, Environmental Engineer at the facility. “In 2012, irrigation was only 25 percent.”

She said since July 2012, the plant has been able to limit the water it uses for irrigation to what it collects from the cistern and the plant’s waste water treatment plant, saving the equivalent of 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools per year.

Meanwhile, the Fuel Systems plant at Juarez has established a greenhouse that is irrigated with recycled water from the production line after it passes through a treatment plant.

“The trees at the greenhouse are eventually donated to parks, schools and other local institutions,” said Ariana Silva, an employee at the plant.

About 20 employees created the greenhouse, which was inaugurated in 2012 by Ray Amlung, Vice President and General Manager of Fuel Systems, and his leadership team.

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