WARRENDALE, PA — As water gains recognition as a resource as important to manage and preserve as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, companies are taking increasingly significant steps to cut down on how much water is used in manufacturing. In recent days, we've seen Kraft reducing its water footprint by 21 percent, and a look at the greenest breweries around, many of which are working to reduce the ratio of water used per liter of product.
Today, Chuck Gordon, the president and CEO of Siemens Water Technologies -- a manufacturer of water and wastewater management systems -- is offering up five tips for facility managers to cut their water use. Among the tips are suggestions to:
1. Do Your Homework. Annually review your water management strategy from intake to discharge. Where it makes sense, take steps to reduce your water footprint. Ask expert advice. There are technologies available that offer sustainable solutions for manufacturers and communities alike to treat water to virtually any specification. By doing an audit you can identify ways to reduce your water footprint immediately. Be sure to continue to monitor your usage closely.
2. Treat Water as a Valuable Resource. Treated water isn’t free. It takes energy and technological resources to treat water. Statistics show that almost 50% of the world’s population by 2030 will be living in areas of high water stress. So, the more tightly managed the water usage, the better.
3. Reuse and Recycle. Capturing, treating and recycling water during the manufacturing process can reduce water by millions of gallons per year, as well as save money. This can be achieved by looking at areas like your boiler feed water, utility water or water used in packaging preparation.
4. Reduce Waste. An effective water management strategy can help reduce waste and discharge, and moreover help to meet regulatory requirements. Even taking a closer look at wastewater and identifying other uses within the facility can result in great savings.
5. Consider the Water/Energy Link. Energy costs account for nearly 30% of the operational costs at water treatment facilities. Technology advancements such as better automation, reuse technologies and waste-to-energy technologies can mean greater energy efficiencies.
The full list of tips is online at Siemens.com. For more on corporate water use and commitments are online at GreenBiz.com, and Siemens Water Technologies also offers resources and case studies at http://www.siemens.com/water_footprint.
Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user kevindooley.