Committed to Our Environment: WaterMar 22, 2022 - Insights
Fresh water is a precious natural resource, vital to our communities and essential to our operations. At Tronox, our value to operate responsibly means we must manage water more sustainably. To do this, we focus on water reuse and recycling systems at several of our operations, as well as rainwater, so fresh water remains available for allocation as efficiently as possible.
We also match the quality of water used in operations to a specific process in a fit-for-purpose approach, such as using seawater or recycled industrial wastewater instead of fresh water, which reduces our reliance on municipal water around the world.
In addition to fit-for-purpose water, Tronox relies on multiple water reuse and recycling systems so scarce fresh water can be allocated as efficiently as possible. We collect and consume rainwater at KwaZulu-Natal Sands in South Africa, and at Broken Hill Mineral Processing Plant in Australia.
We measure our water withdrawal to understand our use of water for the first time (not reused or recycled water). Water withdrawal is measured at each of our operating sites. The annual performance is discussed with the leadership team during the Safety, Health, Environment and Quality session on a quarterly basis with company leadership and all sites and regional directors. The review includes year-to-year performance, analysis of the results, and review of short-, medium- and long-term goals.
In 2020, we updated our water disclosures to include water withdrawal by source and by water quality to fresh, brackish and high salinity water. We also identified the sites operating in areas classified as being at risk for high water stress, in accordance with the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas by the World Resources Institute. The sites operating in high stress areas are listed below:
- Australia Eastern Operations
- Australia Southern Operations
- Cooljarloo Mining Site in Australia
- Bunbury Pigment Plant in Australia
- Yanbu Pigment Plant in Saudi Arabia
In areas with high water stress, Tronox has focused efforts to both reduce consumption and to use non-freshwater resources when possible. We have been able to adjust our operations in high water stress areas so that freshwater contributes to around 60 percent of water used at those sites; compared to 87 percent in areas with low water stress. Of the non-freshwater resources, over 30 percent are from high salinity water sources (above 10,000 mg/L of total dissolved solids) and less than 10 percent from brackish water sources (with total dissolved solids between 1,000-10,000 mg/L).
Download our full sustainability report here.