By placing more emphasis on efficiency, Brazilian mills have been able to reduce water usage during the industrial process by more than 80% (to 0,87 m³ per ton) over the past two decades. Thanks to abundant and reliable rainfall, sugarcane is usually not irrigated in Center-South of Brazil, where most of the country’s crop is grown. As water accounts for more than two-thirds of the weight of sugarcane, a significant amount of water needs to be processed within the mill.
Water consumption has reduced from 1,52 m³ per sugarcane ton in the 2010/2011 harvest to 0,87 m³ per sugarcane ton in the 2018/2019 harvest. Today, nearly 95% of the water consumed by a typical sugarcane mill is later treated and re-used in the industrial process, with the objective of eliminating water discharge completely.