Why does water as a resource play such an important role for an automotive car manufacturer?
Water as a resource is important mainly in two areas. Firstly, water is evaporated via cooling towers for the cooling of processes, but also of halls and buildings. Secondly, it is currently not possible to produce a car without using water. Processes in the paint shop, for example for various dip baths, play a major role. But also leak testing or, quite banally, cleaning the vehicles requires the use of water.
Has water scarcity been neglected in the general sustainability discussion?
That depends very much on the time of year and the region, but in principle yes. Naturally, the current focus of the discussion is on decarbonisation, which is good and very important. However, there is a direct dependency on water as a resource, and this relationship is often neglected in the discussions.
In Singapore, water conservation and water catchment play a central role. What lessons can industries learn from Singapore?
In my opinion, Singapore is a good example to show how the water problems of the future can be solved. Just dealing with the issue can make a big difference. Trying to become largely independent of others by closing cycles, like Singapore, is essential. After all, it is assumed that around ten billion people on this planet will need to be supplied with water by the year 2050.
Do you have any tips on how individuals like you and me can contribute to saving water?
There are the well-known classics, such as turning on the dishwasher only when it’s completely full or collecting rainwater in the garden. But it’s a little-known fact that it is now possible to save virtual water. Virtual water is the term used to describe the water consumption during the production or generation of consumer goods. A lot of water is used in the production of food or clothing, for example. Therefore, water can also be saved through mindful consumption.