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Abstract

In most midwestern states water availability is rarely an issue, because there are many lakes and rivers from which to extract water. However, there are areas in the world and even in the United States in which water is not readily available. As the world’s population grows and developing nations realize higher standards of living, the amount of water needed will rise. One important use of water is in manufacturing. There are three scopes for water use in manufacturing: direct use in the process (scope 1), through the energy used to perform the process (scope 2), and the water used during manufacturing to create the materials that are consumed (scope 3). One of the most common metals used in manufacturing is steel. This study breaks down the production of steel, from iron ore to raw steel, to quantify a total water footprint. Each step considers scopes 1, 2, and 3. The water used to create one kilogram of steel included 12.8 liters of water for scope 1, 0.2790 liters of water for scope 2, and 692.1 liters of water for scope 3. The process that was responsible for the largest portion of water use was the production of coke. Coke processing (scope 3) uses 98% of the total water needed and should receive the greatest attention in efforts to reduce water use in steel production.

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