BASF uses water in the production of products, for cooling and cleaning and as a means of transportation. In 2009, BASF used 1,977 million cubic meters (2008: 2,058 million cubic meters) of water worldwide. Of this amount, 95% was drawn from rivers and lakes. Groundwater accounted for 4% and drinking water for about 1%. The majority of the water is used for cooling.
We have decreased our specific water use in recent years, for instance, by intensively recirculating water as much as possible. However, we do not want the recirculation of water to result in an increase in energy use, for instance when the water has to be recooled, or in other negative impacts on the environment. The catchment, processing and transport of water requires energy. At our Ludwigshafen site, we have been able to reduce the specific energy use of our cooling water supply by 11% since 2005 thanks to technical measures and optimized operating methods such as improved pump networks.
Water balance of the BASF Group in 2009
(Million cubic meters per year)
1 Total from production processes, graywater, rinsing and purification in production