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World Wetlands Day: How is wetlands’ protection linked to the global water crisis?

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, the day the Convention on Wetlands was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. The mission of the “Ramsar Convention”, which includes 1.524 wetlands covering 520 million hectares, is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation” (available on  

What are wetlands? 

A "wetland" is either an area that is permanently or seasonally covered by water or an area where the ground is wet for an extended period of time. Wetlands are marshes, deltas, springs, estuaries, rivers, lagoons and lakes, both natural and artificial. 

How important are wetlands? 

The value of wetlands, freshwater and saltwater, is enormous for nature and humanity. Let's take a brief look at what they offer us (information available on 

  • They hold and provide us with most of the freshwater we use. At the same time, they act as natural filters to purify water from pollutants, making it safe to drink.  

  • They are climate regulators, as they store more carbon than forests. 

  • They protect against flooding, with each acre of them absorbing up to 5.6 million litres of floodwater.  

  • They host essential biodiversity, with 40% of the world's species living and breeding in wetlands.  

  • They provide us with food through aquaculture and rice paddies. 

Wetlands send an S.O.S. 

Unfortunately, wetlands are the most threatened ecosystem on Earth, with a rate of disappearance three times that of forests. In the last 50 years, 35% of the world's wetlands have been lost, and 1 in 3 freshwater species are at risk of extinction. The reason for all this is the ever-increasing human activity that is causing water pollution and the destruction of ecosystems.   

Why should we care about wetlands’ destruction?  

Although the Earth is often referred to as the "blue planet", only 2.5% of all water is fresh, whereas less than 1% can be used to meet our needs. The main source of fresh water is wetlands.   

The overconsumption of freshwater (water use has increased sixfold in the last 100 years) has led us to a global crisis, as nature cannot replenish all the water we consume, which amounts to 10 billion tons every day.  

Therefore, by destroying wetlands, we are destroying the only sources of fresh water we have and exacerbating the water crisis.

The importance of sustainable water management for ALUMIL 

Given the limited availability of fresh water, its responsible use and sustainable management are very important. What we achieved at ALUMIL in 2021, as reflected in our 3rd ESG Report

  • We recycled 35% of the total water used in our production facilities.   

  • We saved 6.59% more water by changing the chemical pre-treatment of aluminium into full acid in the horizontal powder coating unit.  

  • We saved 46.8% of the water used in the horizontal powder coating unit through our closed demineralized water system.  

  • We recycled 43.85% of the water used in the vertical powder coating unit.  

  • We saved 3.3% more clean water in the anodizing unit.   

Want to learn more about our initiatives to protect the environment? Read here

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