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Possible Water Woes Make Some Germans Unhappy With Tesla’s Proposed New Plant

Possible Water Woes Make Some Germans Unhappy With Tesla’s Proposed New Plant
A section of Germans are not happy with Tesla’s plans of construction of a gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin. A section of people in the German capital fear that the construction of the factory will adversely impact the water supply and the wild life in the area . This prompted some to organize a protest on Saturday close to the proposed factory site.
The plan for building of the factory was announced by the United States based electric car maker last November which would be the first such facility of the company in Europe. The factory  is proposed to be constructed in Gruenheide, in the eastern state of Brandenburg
The move has been welcomed by politicians, unions and industry groups because it would create jobs for people of the region. However, there are concerns among locals about the impact on the environment because of the factory coming up. 
“We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water,” protesters called according to reports in the German press.
A warning against the “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal” for the proposed factory was issued by a Brandenburg water association last week which was followed by the protests during the weekend. .
According to the plans of Tesla about the construction of the factory released earlier this month, more than 300 cubic meters of water per hour would be required for the building process which would put stress on the already depleted water reserves of the area, said environmental activists. They also claimed that they are not against the company but their concerns are about the surrounding forest area which is a protected wildlife zone and therefore one should consider whether this factory is necessary at all.
“In such an ecological system like the one here and with the background that climate is changing, I cannot understand why another location was not selected from the beginning,” said Frank Gersdorf, a member of “Citizens’ Initiative Gruenheide against Gigafactory”, a local group that organized Saturday’s protest.
Plans of major companies such as RWE’s lignite mining at the Hambach forest, near Cologne have been halted or delayed previously by environmentalist protests in Germany. RWE’s project has now become of the symbols of protests against coal mining.
Protestors and environmentalists claimed that the protests on Saturday were spontaneous after people joined a group of 50 who were holding a forest walk demonstration. Citing this Gersdorf said reflected the concerns of the locals about the impact of the factory building exercise on wildlife, including birds, insects and bats because about 300 hectares of land will be needed to be deforested to build the factory.
The expected “enormous” increase in traffic on a nearby highway and through the villages is also a cause of concern for locals.
However reports also said that a section of the locals also had come out on to the streets during the protests by the environmentalists, supporting the construction of the factory claiming that it would bring in jobs to the region.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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