Living in harmony with nature is not new to us. In an era of growing challenges to conserve and preserve what is precious to the very living of human beings, water plays a pivotal role in sustaining biodiversity, mankind, and their economic prosperity. Operating in a water-scarce state like Rajasthan makes the importance of water more critical.
Being a responsible organization, Hindustan Zinc understands the value of water and therefore being water positive means that they are actively rebuilding water resources in the places where they operate as well as reducing their water wastage which has led to the benefit of the society and environment at large.
The company is focussed on bringing down the freshwater consumption and in the past 5 years has reduced it by approximately by 30% with a strong emphasis on water conservation, with initiatives concentrating on water reduction, reusage and recycling. This has led to the company being 2.41 times water positive and is on track to become 5 times water positive by 2025.
Hindustan Zinc maintains zero-discharge philosophy through integrated water management systems. One such system is the RO-ZLD plants across smelters which helps in maximizing of recycling of water thus reducing the dependency on freshwater. This is a commitment to the vision of Transforming the Planet. The RO-ZLD plant utilizes the wastewater, strengthening zero discharge commitment.
Other than this the company also focuses on taking initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle water and minimizing its water footprint. One such initiative is the establishment of Udaipur’s 60MLD (million litres per day) Sewage Treatment Plant where the company treats wastewater of the city. Hindustan Zinc in a bid to keep the City of Lakes clean, set-up the STP under Public-Private-Partnership model which has effectively reduced the pollution load of the lakes in the city and is one of the main initiatives towards “Swachh Bharat Mission”. The treated water is used in the operations of the company and has significantly helped the company in reduction of freshwater consumption.
Hindustan Zinc also works with local communities to effectively improve water management. Recent rainwater harvesting project near Rampura Agucha mine has created an estimated recharge potential of 8.7 million cubic meters per annum. This is expected to augment groundwater in the area, resulting in water availability for various purposes as well as for the secured livelihood of the villagers. The initiative is estimated to benefit 70,000 – 75,000 people living in this area. As a result of the project, crop patterns and yields will also increase.
Conservation, effective treatment, and optimal utilization of water are the only ways to extend its supply. Hindustan Zinc driven by the vision of being 5 times water positive by 2025 has undertaken initiatives like dry tailing dam, water harvesting structures and water ATMS for communities is on track to make the company 5 times water positive. These efforts are targeted to multiply the benefits of Hindustan Zinc’s operations in society and help manifest efforts to use water prudently and engage with communities to collaboratively manage water at large.