Solutions for growers and urban areas on World Water Day

March 20, 2020

From the business operations to a range of products designed for growing food with hydroponics and for storm-water management systems, learn how ROCKWOOL is helping address some of the world's water-related challenges.

For nearly four billion people—two-thirds of the world population—severe water scarcity is a problem at least one month of the year. At the same time, in many parts of the world water can come in abundance and all at once in the form of severe and damaging rainfall.

Whether too little or too much, water and water management is critical for sustainable development and human survival, and as such gets worldwide attention every year on March 22nd, a day designated as World Water Day by the United Nations.

“ROCKWOOL has ambitious goals to reduce water usage across our operations. It is one of 10 UN Sustainable Development Goals we have committed to contributing to. You can read about our efforts and progress in our recently released Sustainability Report. In the areas of water consumption and water management, it is our products, from both Grodan and Lapinus, where we have the biggest positive impact”, says Anthony Abbotts, Director of Sustainability for ROCKWOOL Group.

Use less water to grow more food

Agriculture accounts for nearly 70 percent of global freshwater consumption. Feeding the world is a critical task, but there are less thirsty alternatives to traditional, soil-based methods. 

Hydroponics is one. Grodan produces growing media made from stone wool—specially treated to retain water, instead of repelling it—designed for hydroponic growing systems that require far less water than traditional soil methods and have achieved award-winning results.


Tomatoes tell the story: To grow 1kg of tomatoes in a field requires 60 litres of water, compared to 15 litres in a hydroponic system. How is that possible? Read about it and much more in Grodan’s Best Practices Guidelines for Greenhouse Water Management

Vast greenhouses in the countryside aren’t the only places where food production innovation is happening. In this interview, Grodan talks about the important development of vertical farming techniques and why certain types of produce will increasingly come from producers like these, especially to help feed growing urban populations. If you’re a grower using stone wool, check out these three quick tips for smarter greenhouse management.

Grodan products sold in 2019 saved approximately 100 million litres of water. To learn more about how that figure is calculated, go here.

Stormwater management for cities

Meanwhile, the reality of more frequent and more severe rainfall is a growing challenge, particularly in urban environments with a lot of pavement and less opportunity for the rain to drain into the soil. With increasing urbanisation, Lapinus’ Rockflow© stormwater management systems are helping communities safeguard infrastructure by absorbing and slowly releasing excess rainfall into surrounding soil or basins instead of “throwing it out” with the sewer water.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, where more frequent and severe rainstorms increase the risk of damaging urban floods, an installation of Rockflow underneath a playground in the adjacent municipality of Frederiksberg is an important part of the city's Cloudburst Managment Plan

Check out the video below to see what they did. 


Whether it’s to enable growers to grow more while using less water or helping cities cope with more frequent and severe storms, ROCKWOOL Group has solutions that can help.

To learn more about the challenges and opportunities the world has with its most important resource, go to the official World Water Day page.