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Developing a Water Conservation Program

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Below are steps on how to approach designing and implementing a water conservation program:
  1. Perform a Water Audit—Figure out how much water your industry uses on average for day-to-day operations.
  2. Create a Plan of Action—Decide how you can reduce your water use by 20% by looking at which operations can be upgraded to allow for conservation of water.
  3. Education—Explain to employees the importance of water conservation and efficiency measures that your industry is implementing.

One: Perform a Water Audit

A water audit accounts for exactly how much water comes into the system, how much is used in each stage of the manufacturing process, and how much leaves the system. After reviewing which equipment and processes use the most water, improvements can be made to reduce the amount of water used. A water audit is also a great tool to catch any equipment malfunctions that are causing unnecessary water loss (also known as "Unaccounted Water") and can easily be repaired.

Water Auditing Resources

Due to the detailed nature of a water audit, it can be time consuming and sometimes complicated. While there is not a standardized state-wide or nation-wide water auditing process, there are numerous resources available for industrial managers on how to perform a thorough water audit.

Water Auditing Calculators

Georgia's Department of Natural Resources has provided examples of spreadsheets and calculators that industrial managers can use to calculate water consumption for different facilities:[1]

Two: Creating a Plan of Action

After reviewing areas that can be improved on, you can now decide on a course of action. Begin by improving areas that will result in the most water savings and can readily be fixed. It is important to take actions that are cost-effective; if the investment ends up costing more over time and does not provide a significant improvement, it may not be worth investing in. Similarly, set up a time-table of when actions should be completed and what the projected savings will be upon completion.

Rebates and Incentives

Revamping your facility can be financially expensive. However, municipalities and state agencies do have rebates and financial incentives for water efficiency retrofits and water conservation programs. Visit your local water agency website or call their conservation department to find out what industrial rebates are available.

Three: Education and Training

Employees and clients need to know why water conservation is so important to industries. Increased water conservation in the industrial sector is not only required by law, but is a smart business practice. Hold seminars for employees and let them know how they can help improve water conservation efforts that you have put forth. Likewise, keep them engaged in the conversation of water issues and policies by attending conferences and workshops with other businesses. Meet with clients to let them know what measures you have taken to ensure you are not only meeting the minimum standards of the Water Conservation Act of 2009, but are making a priority of exceeding these goals.

Wholly H2O is an excellent resource for employee education needs. Participate in our Wh2O Forums, where different stakeholders come together to discuss integrated water management strategies for water reuse. Remember to check out Wholly H2O's events calendar for all scheduled meetings, conferences and events.

References


1.^ Water Efficiency. Retrieved on Nov. 30, 2011.