German Fernandez Optimizes EnerSys Water Usage in Water-Stressed Tijuana

Tijuana Plant Uses, then Re-uses, and then Recycles its Water.

Around the world we all increasingly face water scarcity issues. While water stewardship has always been important to our company, EnerSys has recently set goals to continuously reduce our impact. In 2021, EnerSys joined the U.N. CEO Water Mandate, a CEO-led commitment platform for business leaders and learners to advance water stewardship and reduce water stress worldwide by 2050. As part of this membership, EnerSys has committed to reducing our water intensity1 by 25%. Projects at the facility level, identified and executed by our local teams, are the key to making progress towards our water goals and commitments.

German Fernandez, our local Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, spearheaded the implementation of a water reuse project at the Tijuana, Mexico plant. Tijuana is a state where water resources are often strained as water shutoffs are increasingly common and key reservoirs are nearing all-time lows². German and his team began by evaluating the daily and monthly water usage at the plant. Using multiple water meters at different stages of water usage, the team was able to better understand how much water was used in various processes and where there was opportunity for water reuse.

Water at the Tijuana plant is supplied by the Public Utilities Commission of Tijuana. Prior to the project, once the water was used, it was treated through a microfiltration process in accordance with strict standards and then discharged into the city sewer. German’s water reuse project introduced additional filtration steps to this process, which purified the water to a level approved by the local Public Utilities Commission for reuse as a replacement for city water for limited uses. The filtered water, once it has passed through the advanced filtration system, can be reused in the plant before it is discharged into the city sewer. Sanitary services, specifically toilet usage, that had previously been using city water now uses this recycled water.

The reuse project was implemented in March of 2022 and required an initial investment of $20,000 in multimedia filtration, activated carbon filtration, second stage filtration, and UV disinfecting lights. Monthly upkeep of the project includes additional chemical, filter, and water analysis costs. While there are additional operating costs, the significant reduction in water use not only helps the environment but has also resulted in real economic benefits.

“Since the inception of the project”, German says, “we have seen a total of $44,000 in savings from reusing and recycling our water.”

German’s implementation of the water reuse project is estimated to have reduced the plant’s city water usage by about 4,400 gallons of water per day. That’s enough water to provide more than 5,200 people with the recommended amount of daily drinking water, 3.2 Liters per day³. “This is an important and impactful initiative in a water-stressed state like Tijuana.” German emphasizes. “Projects like this one take the necessary actions to address water scarcity in the communities we operate in and make progress towards our company-wide water intensity goal.”

Pictured below: Advanced filtration process including multimedia filtration, activated carbon filtration, and second stage filtration systems.

1 per kWh of storage produced by 2030 compared to 2020

² In Mexico’s dry north, Colorado River adds to uncertainty ( 

³ Calculated using an average of the recommended daily consumption for males and females: Report Sets Dietary Intake Levels for Water, Salt, and Potassium To Maintain Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk | National Academies