The local German public utility department said recently that local water resources can only support the existing operation scale of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory. However, any further local development will have the risk of water depletion. In other words, Tesla’s Berlin plant will deplete the existing local water supply.
Wasserverband Strausberg-Erkner (WSE), a water company in the German state of Brandenburg, issued a statement after a meeting with the Tesla project, saying that local water reserves are starting to dry up. Due to insufficient groundwater extraction, further commercial and industrial development planning in the area is impossible without additional extraction permits, the WSE said.
Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is about to begin production of its Model Y electric car, months later than Tesla CEO Elon Musk planned. The main reason for this is concerns that Tesla’s Berlin plant will put pressure on the local water supply. Brandenburg Economy Minister, Joerg Steinbach said in an interview…”The current water supply is sufficient for the first phase of the factory. However, once Tesla expands the factory, we will need more water resources.”
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Tesla Berlin factory set to start production
Earlier this month, Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory passed final approval and is expected to receive an operating license within a few weeks. The company has sent out invitations to an event at the Berlin Gigafactory on March 22.
The production of the Brandenburg plant is very vital to the global expansion plans of Tesla. At the moment, the company urgently needs to establish a manufacturing base in Europe. The electric car market in Europe is fast-growing. Thus, it needs a base in this region to meet the needs. The likes of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis NV have expanded their own electric car production line. Thus, the American carmaker can not afford to be behind in its expansion plans.
Axel Bronstert, a professor of hydrology at the University of Potsdam, said the Tesla plant will roughly double water consumption in the Gruenheide region of Brandenburg. He claims that this is sufficient and the idea of meeting the needs of factories and residents is naive.
However, Tesla has a contract with the local government. The contract states that Tesla’s Greenhead plant will receive 1.4 million cubic meters of water per year. This is enough to meet the water needs of a city of about 40,000 people. This includes the construction of a sewage treatment plant, to ensure adequate water supply. The local government acknowledges that such a large engineering project could take years.