Water Use

  • 95% of the water we use in our pulp operations is returned to the environment

Water Use in Manufacturing

Solid wood mills primarily use water for heating, misters for dust control and to cool equipment. At three sawmill sites, we also employ water in a closed-loop system for the cooling needs of our three biomass-fueled ORC bioenergy systems.  Our solid wood mills use little process water compared to the water used in the pulping process at our pulp facilities.

Water use data is most relevant to pulping facilities, which use and treat large volumes of water in the course of a year. Water is used to wash and process pulp, transport it through the mill, cooling process effluent for effective environmental treatment, and for heat and power generation. The total volume of water required in facilities is determined by the type of pulp processing, with mechanical processes requiring less water.  


Water in West Fraser’s Forest Operations

Water is an important - and protected - resource throughout our operations. We specifically address, manage and monitor stream and watercourse protection as part of our sustainable forest management activities. We operate under strict regulations with regard to water or watercourses on the lands where we harvest, which are enforced within our land-use planning.

For information about water stewardship as it relates to sustainable forestry, see the sustainable forest management section.

Water disclosures are provided for the Company’s directly managed mechanical pulp mills Quesnel River Pulp and Slave Lake Pulp, and kraft pulp operations Hinton Pulp and joint venture Cariboo Pulp & Paper mill. West Fraser is a partner in, but not the managing partner of, the Alberta Newsprint Company. This facility’s water metrics (historical and current) have been added to West Fraser’s disclosures in the charts below.