Reduction of water consumption in the French industry

Related theme: Climate adaption

Project information


Client:  CEMEX

TAUW contact person:

  • Julien Marti



Background - Reducing water consumption

In response to hotter and drier weather conditions, the French government is looking for ways to reduce water consumption, particularly in periods of drought. Over the past years, administrative decrees have been issued to companies with high water intake, requiring them to conduct studies on how to reduce the amount of water they use for their business operations.


Challenge – Significantly reducing water intake

The CEMEX France sites in this project  are three large quarries which supply crushed rock, sand and gravel. The majority of the rubble and sand is used in the construction industry. CEMEX extracts the rock from the ground and uses water to wash, clean and transport the material on site. CEMEX was issued with a decree requiring a 20% permanent reduction of the water used from public sources at each of its three sites. It was also asked to take further temporary measures in the summer, on top of the 20% reduction.

Solution – Optimising water recycling

At two of its sites, CEMEX uses a closed water system to clean and transport rock. It has already achieved an 80% reduction of its surface water consumption by using that closed system. However, some water is still being lost and is topped up with surface water.

TAUW analysed where and how water was being lost and came up with innovative solutions to prevent further water loss.

The study found that water was mainly being lost through evaporation and through infiltration in the ground. By connecting leaks to the recycling loop and optimising the clarifying process with additional chemicals, we were able to reduce surface water intake by 18%. We also found ways to collect rainwater and direct it into the recycling loop, further reducing the need for surface water.

Impact – Mitigating drought effects

Thanks to the technical expertise and proactive attitude of our consultants, we were able to make a sound cost-benefit analysis and find viable solutions that benefit the client. By further reducing its dependency on surface water, the client mitigates drought effects and contributes to a sustainable environment.

Partnership - Proactive, solution-driven contribution

 TAUW always takes a proactive and solution-driven approach to any projects. Our in-depth solutions were appreciated by the client. We developed follow-up services ensuing from this project, such as groundwater surveys.

“The methodology initially agreed upon has been duly respected and the explanations were very clear throughout the entire study. The report provided was very detailed and elaborate" - CEMEX.


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