Working toward a closed-loop water cycle

More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water; however, only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater. Our industrial customers understand the obligation they have to reduce competition for freshwater resources while maintaining operations and delivering needed goods and materials.

Many companies are working toward a closed-loop water cycle where all industrial wastewater is reused or reclaimed, and systems are already in place to minimize water lost through evaporation or processing.

Delivering a reliable, sustainable water supply

crane on site at Los Pelambres

Los Pelambres

We are working with our customers to decrease the levels of water usage in the mining process.  

a water pumping station

Escondida water supply

The team at Escondida replaced their draw on local water supplies with desalinated water, pumped 3,200 metres above sea level to the project site.

worker inspects a water pipeline

Reliance industries Jamnagar export refinery wastewater treatment

A massive wastewater treatment facility is allowing Reliance not only to meet the effluent discharge standards, but also to reuse the treated wastewater in other refinery process units such as the cooling tower systems. 

Minimize interface risk through integration

Costly industrial water issues can occur when the conveyance systems used to transport the wastewater or treated water are not explicitly designed in sync with the specific water treatment process. Any misalignment in design criteria risks the introduction of contaminants or bacteria into the system and corrosion or pipelines that can stop operations and contaminate water supplies.  Bechtel is the only company globally that can design and build both the water treatment facilities and conveyance systems to minimize that risk and keep your operation up and running.

Fit for purpose technology selection

To ensure our customers get the quality of water needed at both input and output to the facilities, we consider all available technologies in the market for each stage of the process. Bechtel evaluates the impact of those technologies on operations, power consumption, uptime, maintenance, repair, and replacement to ensure that the treatment facility is cost-efficient and reliable according to the owner’s needs.

Recovery and reuse of wastewater in the mining industry

The mining industry requires a great deal of water to access resources like copper and aluminum that are critical to a more sustainable and renewable future.

Our mining customers have made significant pledges around responsible water use and treatment, especially in areas where the water needed for operations could compete with local communities.

Safe treatment and storage - dry stacking

One area of focus for the mining industry is developing dry stacking solutions as the safest, cleanest, and most sustainable way to address solid waste in the industry. These solutions extract water for reuse from the mining process, store the dehydrated tailings safely and enable a more sustainable reclamation of the tailings in the soil without contamination. This removes the need for tailing dams, thus eliminating any possibility of dam failure.   

We help our customers identify the best way to extract and process the water, deliver the pipelines needed to get it back into operations, and decommission facilities safely and efficiently.