Water conservation is a top priority for Toyota and is part of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050. Toyota’s plants around the world are working hard to find ways to make high quality vehicles using less water.

Toyota’s assembly plant in Baja California, Mexico, where team members produce the Tacoma pick-up truck, is one of a handful of Toyota sites around the world identified by the company as being at high risk for water availability. The plant, known as TMMBC, is located 30 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. In this part of Mexico, where the rain doesn’t fall often and water is limited, using water efficiently makes all the difference.

A Unique Water Recycling System

Since the plant was built, conserving water has been top-of-mind at TMMBC. Recently, team members tested and implemented some advanced technology that has taken water management to a whole new level.

“The water recycling process here at TMMBC is pretty unique,” explained Jesus Ernesto Rodriguez, TMMBC facilities water specialist. “We use a membrane bio reactor to remove solids from water we have already used in the manufacturing process. This filtered water is then run through a reverse osmosis (RO) system to eliminate any dissolved solids.”

TMMBC is the first Toyota plant in North America to use a membrane bio reactor (MBR). The MBR and RO system helps ensure the plant will have sufficient water to operate, even though water availability is limited in the area.

The Results

With the successful installation of this system, TMMBC is able to reuse water over and over again, which will save an estimated 23 million gallons of water annually.

Plus, the water recycled through the MBR/RO system meets or exceeds the purity of incoming water.

Looking Ahead

“Our water recycling system not only represents a significant savings here at the Baja plant, but it also provides real-world data and expertise that can be shared with other Toyota facilities — so the opportunity for impact is enormous,” said Julia Navar, TMMBC environmental specialist. Toyota has already begun to evaluate other assembly plants in North America and plans to implement several projects that will result in significant water savings per vehicle. We’ll report on those as they come online.

Vehicles in this story include
the 2020 Tacoma, manufactured in
Baja California, Mexico.