The Sembrong Kecil River runs adjacent to our Kluang Mill in Malaysia, providing water that is essential to our operations and the community’s 240,000 people.
Located in a water-stressed region, Kluang experienced a serious drought in 2010 that reduced the river’s flow, depleting the community’s water supply and causing Kimberly-Clark’s Kluang Mill to shut down for a prolonged period of time.
The Kimberly-Clark team at Kluang Mill decided to take action and created the Total Water Solution program which supports Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to protect and conserve water resources.
“First, the mill upgraded its effluent-treatment plant improving recycled water quality to use in production,” said Tushar Dolhare, ASEAN Operations Excellence Manager at Kimberly-Clark. “We then put in place processes to recycle a higher percentage of water. This included educating operators to build a culture of water conservation.”
The team at Kluang Mill also collaborated with local government agencies, community leaders, and schools to raise awareness about river conservation. In 2017, a “Love Our River” cleanup event was hosted by Kimberly-Clark and attended by 200 local people, including schoolchildren. At the event, 6,000 fish were released into the river, donated by the Department of Fisheries.
“This event that we organized gathered the community together to help preserve the Sembrong Kecil River as a shared resource,” said Dolhare.
As part of Kimberly-Clark’s watershed analysis work, it’s been identified that the basin where the Kluang mill is located has a high risk related to flooding and seasonal droughts. To mitigate the seasonal droughts, the mill has reduced its water usage by 4.5 million cubic meters of water since 2011—enough to fill 1,800 Olympic swimming pools and we are working to reduce it further.
In order to mitigate the flood risk, Kimberly-Clark has been collaborating with Deltares, an independent research institute in the field of water, to develop a flood modelling tool. Once complete, it will be used to further discussions with local stakeholders and the community.
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