World Water Day Reducing industrial water consumption in Tunisia
Globally, industry is responsible for 22% of all water use. As more countries industrialize, demand is expected to increase significantly.
In order to protect water resources for future generations, UNIDO works to assist developing countries with the transfer of best available technologies and environmental practices to improve industrial water management and productivity.
In Tunisia, 26 companies in the food, leather, textile, chemical and mechanical sectors have been participating in the UNIDO Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies programme for the southern Mediterranean (MED TEST II). One of those is New Amico, a jeans manufacturing company founded in 1991 and located in the industrial zone of Moknine in north-eastern Tunisia.
New Amico joined the MED TEST II project to improve its efficiency and environmental performance, the latter being an increasingly frequent request made by customers in Europe.
A series of business networking events were organized by UNIDO between December 2016 and November 2017 within the framework of the SwitchMed programme. As a result, representatives of New Amico established contact with Jeanologia, a Spanish company with more than 20 years of experience in the development of sustainable and efficient technologies for fabric and garment finishing.
The upshot was a technical cooperation agreement that saw New Amico purchase two G2 ozone-washer machines and three E-flow nano-bubbles technology machines for a total investment of €366,000. Projections indicate that this initial investment will be recouped in less than a year as a result of the company’s reduced water, energy and chemical consumption. Nearly half of the savings will come from reduced water usage.
The new technology reduces the consumption of water by 98%, electricity by 47% and chemicals by 50%, and it eliminates the waste and wastewater treatment associated with chemical and water usage because of its zero discharge process. Specifically, the use of the three E-flow machines will allow New Amico to reduce water consumption for washing jeans by 13 litres per piece.
The impact of such technologies at national level would have an important impact on water consumption - Tunisia's annual production of denim stands at about 26 million pieces per year. If the Jeanologia innovations were widely adopted by the Tunisian textile sector, water savings totalling 1.8 million cubic metres could be achieved, equivalent to the annual water consumption of 6,000 Tunisians.
The New Amico company’s water saving, thanks to UNIDO’s MED TEST II project, helps contribute to the industry-related targets of both Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on clean water and SDG12 on sustainable production.