Water conservation through optimum use of water and efficient water harvesting and recycling is one of the primary objectives of Tata Steel. The Company draws water required for industrial use from surface water sources, primarily perennial rivers and streams, internal reservoirs and water from municipal sources. It does not encourage use of ground water. No natural watercourse or water resources are obstructed due to the Company's mining operations. With this structured management approach, awareness and technological intervention, Tata Steel has been able to provide better water resources for industrial as well as human use within its operations.

Tata Steel intends to improve its Environmental Performance to achieve a Specific Water Consumption target of 4.85 m3/tcs by 2018.

Tata Steel has been conserving water through:

  • Large-scale rainwater harvesting projects
  • Water recovery and recycling
  • Water footprint assessment and reduction exercises
  • Water conservation at the raw material locations
  • Protection of water sources at the mines
  • Artificial recharge of ground water
  • Zero water discharge at the Collieries

Rain Water Harvesting

Rain Water HarvestingRain water harvesting is one of the key water conservation initiatives undertaken by Tata Steel. To conserve rainwater, the Company has installed rain water harvesting structures along with ground water recharge facilities in Jamshedpur and at eight different locations of the Mines Division including surrounding villages. The 'Steel City' draws surface water from Subarnarekha River and the Dimna Reservoir (harvested rainwater) to meet its water requirements. This has resulted in savings of surface runoff water while also leading to gradual and steady rising of ground water table in the project sites and downstream villages in and around the mines.

Some specific water conservation initiatives:

  • In 2012-13, Tata Steel collaborated with International Finance Corporation and Water Footprint Network to conduct the Water Footprint assessment exercise for Steel Works at Jamshedpur and Raw Material Division (Iron & Coal Mines).The water footprint of the company has established that no sources of water are adversely affected by its operations.
  • The Company has been progressively integrating data on water from a larger number of sites each year to improve water conservation. The data for 2012-13 covers 36 inputs points compared to 28 in 2011-12. Tata Steel was the principal sponsor of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate international conference held in March 2013 in Mumbai, India.
  • A new 8 MGD (2 x 4 MGD) Effluent Treatment Plant is being set up in two phases at Jamshedpur Steel Works to convert effluents into service quality water for use in cooling and quenching.
  • Jamshedpur Steel Works achieved 17 per cent reduction in specific water consumption over a ten-year span from 7.1 m3/tcs in 2002-03 to 5.92 m3/tcs in 2012-13.
  • Experts from IIT Kharagpur monitor ground water quality at the iron ore mines every quarter and the results are submitted to Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and respective State Pollution Control Boards twice a year.
  • West Bokaro Collieries have implemented multiple projects over the recent years that include the Mechanical Dewatering Plant, which was commissioned in 2012. A new water clarifier in the Bottom Bin at Noamundi using Micro Sand Ballasted technology with coagulation, flocculation, settling and variable speed drives to take care of slow response and high reaction time, are among key water conservation initiatives by OMQ Division.
  • Tata Steel has undertaken rainwater harvesting on an extensive scale at its Steel Works. In the days to come, this application will help the Works utilise and conserve water in an ecofriendly way that can be replicated the world over. Rainwater harvesting with a capacity of 140 cum/hour has also been successfully implemented at different sites including the Company's mine in Joda. These improvement projects were recognised with the First Prize at the National Water Award 2013.
  • Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) has installed 100 lift irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting structures to eliminate the water crisis in rural and peri-urban areas.
  • Jusco has performed de-silting work of Jubilee Lake, one of the pristine water bodies of the city under its rejuvenation programme.
  • Some of the other lakes across Jamshedpur including Jubilee Lake, Beldih Lake, Neel Sarovar and Bara Lake store rain water through storm water drains and this water is used for watering parks, golf course, sports complex, and also for industrial purposes.