Indian Steel Industry and Water Initiatives

Recently several large companies have announced that they are investing $80 billion in steel production in India. This investment would put India ahead of Japan and make it the second-largest steel producer in the world. As with most industrial processes, steel production requires billions of gallons of water. According to the National Steel Policy 2012 consumption of water by the steel industry is estimated to go up from 360 million cu. m. in 2016?17 to around 650 million cu. m. in 2025?26 in the Base Case Scenario.

India has 18 percent of the world’s population and 4 percent of the globe’s water resources. According to a study by HSBC, India might be the most water-stressed among the Group of 20 nations by 2025. Water scarcity and water quality are predicted to be one of the largest economic and health concerns in the coming decade, meaning that businesses will need to take into account an area’s water resources before developing a region.

Key Water Issues

  • Industrial water consumption is expected to quadruple between 2000 and 2050. By 2050 industrial water consumption will reach 18% of total annual water consumption, up from just 6% in 2000
  • Industrial wastewater discharge causes pollution and reduces available freshwater reserves
  • There is no regulatory binding on water usage and wastage
  • Around 6.2 billion liters of untreated industrial wastewater is generated every day
  • Thermal power and steel plants are the major contributors to annual industrial wastewater discharge
  • By 2050 groundwater level in the Ganges basin (which provides water to UP) is projected to deplete by 50-75%
  • By 2050 groundwater levels in the Krishna, Kaveri and Godavari basins (which provide water to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and AP) are projected to deplete by 50%

The National Steel Policy 2012 (draft) talks of various initiatives to minimize the deleterious inter?generational environmental and social impacts of depletion in ground water resources. It states that efforts will be made to

  1. Involve all stake?holders i.e., local community, the steel plants, the state agencies, in chalking out an optimum water sharing agreement and monitoring of the quality of water in the various water sources in the vicinity of steel units.
  2. The government will initiate water footprint mapping and rainwater harvesting in steel industry and related mining areas.
  3. Fix a system of penalty and rewards aimed at bridging the gap between international best practice norms of water use or recycling in steel plants and the Indian standard practices.

We took a look at the steel companies in India and their CSR / Sustainability initiatives based on water. This is what we found:

Top Steel Companies (Based on ET 500 List) and water initiatives

12 companies out of 22 do not have information on their website regarding water initiatives. Of the companies that list water based initiatives, most of them talk of these initiatives being done within the manufacturing plant and for local community. The water related activities done within & around manufacturing units consist of

  • Recover, Recycle, Reuse – Recover, recycle and reuse of wastewater streams.
  • Rain water Harvesting – Harvesting structures are built within manufacturing units and village community to utilize rain water.
  • Chemical Treatment – Usage of chemicals for water treatment.
  • Wastewater treatment – Treatment of highly contaminated wastewater before its disposal
  • Cooling Pond – A cooling pond is a body of water primarily formed for the purpose of supplying cooling water to a nearby plant
  • Water Supply in and around Plants – The company uses discharged water on roads, toilets, horticulture activities, creating artificial lakes, fountains around the manufacturing plants.
  • Water Supply to Community – The company constructs and provides drinking water supply through water tanks, pipelines, tube wells to the communities living neighboring areas
Company Name ET 500 Rank Recover, Recycle, Reuse Rain Water Harvesting Chemical Treatment Wastewater Treatment Cooling Pond Water Supply to Plants Water Supply to Community
Tata Steel Ltd. 8
Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Ltd. 20
JSW Steel Ltd. 29
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. 55
Jindal Stainless Ltd. 100
National Steel and Agro Industries Ltd. 273
Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd. 361
Adhunik Metaliks Ltd. 386
Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Ltd. 439
Sunflag Iron & Steel Company Ltd. 441

Some of the community based water initiatives are listed below :

Tata Steel Ltd
Jamshedpur – Water Pipeline projects, Farmer irrigation amenities, Rainwater Harvest,
Noamundi – Rainwater Harvest

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Ltd.
Bhilai – Artificial lake, Water fountain.
Bokaro – Providing different grades of water to community
Durgapur – Supply of drinking water and Tubewells constructed.
Rourkela – Water supply project in

JSW Steel Ltd.
Salem – Water facility to village people through water pipe outlets
Vasind & Tarapur – Water facility to village people through water pipe outlets and Channelizing storm water through canal.

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.
Raigarh – Construction of water tanks, Construction of drains, Repair and deepening of village ponds

Jindal Stainless Ltd
Jokhapura – Two rainwater harvesting structures,
Hisar & Vizag – Development of water tanks, water pipelines and drinking water facility

Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd.
Hathbandh – Donation of Pure & Cold Drinking Water machine in schools
Raipur – Donation of water cooler
Talda – Construction of water tank, tube wells and pipe line for drinking water
Siltara – Construction of tube wells
Kachhe – Construction of drainage for waste water
Parrekodo – Establishment of Submersible water pump, overhead tank and pipeline in village school

Adhunik Metaliks Ltd.
Odisha – Drinking water through water treatment plants, Tube wells, Water Kiosks
Jharkhand – Drinking water through water treatment plants.

The following steel companies do not list any water based initiatives on their websites:

Company Name ET 500 Rank
JSW Ispat Steel Ltd. 81
Bhushan Steel Ltd. 91
Welspun Corp Ltd. 96
Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. 163
Sujana Metal Products Ltd. 200
Surya Roshni Ltd. 255
PSL Ltd. 286
Mukand Ltd. 287
Jai Balaji Industries Ltd. 321
Maharashtra Seamless Ltd. 324
ISMT Ltd. 363
Man Industries (India) Ltd. 410


National Steel Policy 2012$FILE/Water_Sector_in_India.pdf