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The Corporate Water Stewardship Award

The Corporate Water Stewardship Award honours the company which best reflects the objectives of the 2030 Water Resources Group in achieving creative solutions for improving water security.

Nestlé S.A., Mexico

What is it?

A multinational food and beverage company.

What has it done?

Justifying a social licence to operate can be a daunting task, even for a household name like Nestlé. Recognising the importance of natural groundwater resources to the local population in Mexico’s Jalisco State, the company transformed its Lagos de Moreno dairy factory into a water-free manufacturing site. The “Cero Agua” initiative allowed the milk powder manufacturing facility to become virtually independent from local groundwater, and will reduce Nestlé’s water consumption in Mexico by 15%.

What makes it special?

Fresh cows’ milk contains around 88% water. Nestlé’s inspired solution to address local water scarcity is to extract and treat the water embedded in the milk for use as process water within the factory, using a series of advanced treatment technologies. The resulting effluent is then treated again for non-potable use, achieving genuine self-sufficiency by closing the loop.

Prior to this installation, the factory consumed almost two litres of groundwater for every litre of milk processed. The “Cero Agua” initiative has decreased Nestlé’s dependency on groundwater to zero during normal operations, resulting in approximately 1 million m3 of water savings every year – enough to meet the average daily consumption of 6,400 Mexicans.


Following the success of the Jalisco initiative, Nestlé now plans to retrofit a number of its other dairy factories situated in water-stressed areas including South Africa, Pakistan, India and China, blazing a trail for the rest of the beverage industry to follow.


TWIC, India

What is it?

Tamilnadu Water Investment Corporation is a project developer backed by IL&FS and the government of Tamilnadu.

What has it done?

TWIC built a series of nine common effluent treatment plants with a total capacity of 55,000m3/d for the textile cluster in Tirupur, Tamilnadu, bringing the wastewater treatment up to zero liquid discharge, dramatically cutting water consumption, and protecting the Noyyal river from pollution.

What makes it special?

In 2011, the Madras high court ordered the closure of all 730 dying and bleaching units, putting 100,000 workers out of work because of inadequate effluent treatment infrastructure. The CETPs have enabled the units to reopen.

The plants facilitate the reuse not only of the recovered water, but also of the brine and sodium sulphate salts.


Reuse cut the operational costs by 65%.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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