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Water is a vital resource for all and a crucial issue in certain parts of the world. Alcoa therefore strives to reduce its water consumption. Even though water is plentiful in Quebec, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products makes it a point to maintain the quality of the water it uses and to eliminate all waste of this essential resource.
In terms of total water consumption (potable and industrial), a decrease was recorded for our Québec plants in 2013 (1.12 Mm3 compared to 1.18 Mm3 in 2012).
Water consumption at the Deschambault Smelter is particularly low because the plant is equipped with a system that recycles process water and recovers rainwater.
The Baie-Comeau and Bécancour smelters run closed-loop water management systems—which produce zero waste water—in their carbon sectors. The cooling waters are recycled and treated at the casthouse, and only treated purge waters are discharged into the environment.
Although there is still some wastewater generated, there is less of it, and it is treated and regularly tested to ensure we meet required standards while minimizing our environmental impact.