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With a 40% shortfall on water predicted by 2030, we continue to conserve and take steps to mitigate risk to our operations, which rely heavily on water for cooling processes. We are evaluating alternative methods like air cooling, which must be balanced with increased energy use, and continue to use more gray water in our operations.

For our Industrial Gases businesses, the majority of our water consumption results from two uses – cooling the air compressors that are used in ASUs and completing the water shift reactions for production of hydrogen via SMRs. In our materials businesses, water is used for many purposes, including cleaning, cooling and product formulation. For 2015, our global water withdrawal was 42.8 billion gallons, which was slightly lower than the amount withdrawn in 2014.   

In 2015, total water consumption increased slightly due primarily to the start-up of new plants, production increases for plants that started-up in 2014, and improved reporting at several facilities that reported for the first time. On an intensity basis, water consumption decreased by 1%.   

We have exceeded our goal of reducing water consumption 10% on an intensity basis in the controllable portion of our usage off our 2009 baseline, realizing a 23% reduction from 2009 to 2015. These efforts correspond to nearly $70 million in cumulative costs avoided and over 22 billion gallons of water conserved.     

We have set a new goal for water consumption for our Industrial Gases business that is tied to our energy efficiency goals: 

• Reduce water consumption intensity by 5% by 2020 from 2015 baseline year

Water Withdrawals
of Gallons
Municipal sources 40.1 151,748
Surface water 1.3 4,782
Ground water 1.5 5,630
Total 42.8 162,160

Water Discharges Billions
of Gallons
Discharged to a treatment facility 24.4 92,437
Discharged directly to surface water 1.4 5,162
Discharged directly to ground water 0.003 11

Water Consumption by Region
(billions of gallons)
CY 2015
CY 2014 CY 2013
United States 10.0
Balance of the Americas 1.6
Europe 1.9 
2.1 2.0
Asia 2.4  2.3 2.3
Total 15.9
15.8 15.2

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