Tesla CEO Elon Musk attempted to ease concerns about the impact the company’s new factory in Berlin will have on the local water supply, according to Reuters. Musk said the plant won’t use as much water as originally thought.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk tried to ease environmental concerns about its factory outside Berlin.
- Residents voiced worries over the amount of water it will need.
- Musk said initial water usage estimates were higher than what the factory will typically use.
The factory has received support from politicians and labor unions for its creation of around 7,000 new jobs, but environmentalists aren’t as happy. They’re concerned the factory could deplete already declining water reserves in the area.
Environmentalists are concerned about water usage and the impact on wildlife at the factory site. (Photo: Getty Images)
Original numbers reflect only rare peak usage
Planning documents originally indicated the factory would need 372 cubic meters of water per hour. Area residents voiced concern that such a high water usage could cause problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal.
Musk countered the water usage number on Twitter saying, “Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won’t use this much net water on a daily basis. It’s possibly a rare peak usage case, but not an everyday event.”
Musk’s tweet addressed not only the water supply issue but worries of the impact on wildlife in the area. The same tweet continued, “Also, this is not a natural forest — it was planted for use as cardboard & only a small part will be used for GF4.” The building is set to be built in a heavily forested area that will need to be cleared. According to Reuters, about 250 people gathered earlier this month to stage a protest over these environmental concerns
WHY THIS MATTERS
Even if Tesla has the approvals and funding it needs to build its new gigafactory, it needs the support of residents for the project to be a success. Moving ahead without addressing the concerns of those worried about the water supply could pose a publicity challenge for Tesla.