The water requirements of the Tesla factory in Brandenburg are enormous. Since there is not enough water available for further expansion, the company now wants to search for groundwater in a neighboring water board. The plans are meeting with criticism.
Water requirements only met for first expansion stage
The factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, is supplied with water from the Strausberg-Erkner water board. However, the latter has only agreed to supply water for the first expansion phase of the factory. Even then, 1.8 million cubic meters per year will be consumed. Since the demand for water will increase with the further expansion of the factory, Tesla now wants to look for further exploitable water reserves. However, this is unlikely to be an easy undertaking, as the affected region already suffers from a water shortage without Tesla.
Tesla is planning test pumping in the area covered by the Fürstenwalde water board and is selling its involvement as serving the public interest: the latest findings on groundwater levels in the region date back to the 1970s and are correspondingly outdated. If Tesla now searches for groundwater at its own expense, the company can supply data to the region, which is plagued by water shortages.
Criticism of Tesla
Nevertheless, Heidemarie Schröder of the Berlin-Brandenburg water board emphasizes that the project is by no means altruistic: “Tesla is now seeking a remedy here and is offering to assist in the search for water. Should this help lead to the goal and the additional demand of the car manufacturer be covered in this way, it will not change anything about the water shortage in the region.” In fact, according to Schröder, Tesla’s search operation is not expected to have a positive impact on the region’s water supply, as any previously unknown supplies would be used for the factory.
Problems with the water supply had already existed at the beginning of construction. The dispute over the scarce raw material has also been going on for some time.