Toyota dives into water conservation in new TV show


Kurt Verlin

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Photo: Toyota

Toyota cares about water conservation and (rightly) thinks you should too. The automaker has funded a new television program that examines the problems and brings together experts to offer solutions. Titled “UAE: We Have Too Much, But Not Enough,” it aired earlier this month on Science Channel and MotorTrend TV.

The title of the program may seem like a mouthful, but it is appropriate. With water covering more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface, it seems we have more than enough. And yet, only 3% of all this water is fresh and therefore usable for drinking, growing crops and most industrial uses.

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Of this tiny slice of fresh water, agriculture takes the lion’s share at 70%. Industry gets 19% while households only get the remaining 11%. And Toyota fears that the current U.S. attitude of reducing its dependence on global manufacturing by “building it here” will only exaggerate the problem, further reducing access to water, especially in drought-stricken areas like California, Texas and Mexico.

“New industrial complexes, such as those for battery and semiconductor chip factories, and the expansion of existing auto centers to build electric vehicles, are evidence of this trend. These are all water-intensive projects. and are being built in the United States right now,” says Toyota.

The automaker has explored many options to reduce its water consumption and says it has found that the “quickest way to reduce the most amount of it”, aside from completely overhauling the way manufacturing works, is to collect and reuse water. Toyota believes the technology to capture rainwater and use it “again and again in manufacturing” already exists.

Of course, while Toyota’s efforts are both welcome and necessary, we should look at the elephant in the room: agriculture. Or more precisely, the meat industry. Did you know that it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef?

As with pollution, we can all do our part. We can drive more efficient cars and eat less beef. We can take short showers and rely on solar power. But as long as corporations continue to use most of the world’s resources and pollute the planet for profit – and as long as materialistic cultures make those profits possible – a television program is just a drop in the bucket. vast ocean of indifference.


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