Businesses that use large quantities of water, such as those in the chemical and manufacturing industries, are under increasing pressure to reduce their water use.

The overall costs of water in big industry can be substantial, with water often playing an integral role in a variety of processes. But water efficiencies can be made by making simple, low-cost or no-cost changes to operating practices.

With practical changes, you can enable your business to achieve rapid returns, with longer-term measures leading to even greater benefits such as attaining various ISO standards and reducing hefty water costs.

Getting started

Both water use and effluent production can be reduced at by taking a step-by-step approach to water efficiency with a Water Efficiency Programme. Get your Water Efficiency Programme started.

Gain the support of senior management to carry out an initial review of water use, waste and effluent production. Make the business case for a Water Efficiency Programme by highlighting the potential budget savings and reduction in operational costs.

Appoint a team leader or ‘champion’ who will oversee the water efficiency plan, make the process effective and deliver those cost saving results. Give them a team if necessary and the authority and time to get things done.

Looking for water efficiency opportunities

Before creating your Water Efficiency Programme, gather information to help you find water efficiency opportunities by taking meter readings and monitoring key processes.

Analyse the data with a specific focus on improving water efficiency and saving money. Look at the effect of product changes and compare water use and effluent generation in similar processes or plants.

Look at the options for improvement in within existing production processes. For example, evaluate if you could:

  • Eliminate water use completely
  • Reduce water use by optimising the process
  • Reuse water where possible
  • Dispose of effluent only as a last resort

Create a Water Efficiency Action Plan

The backbone of your Water Efficiency Programme should be your Water Efficiency Action plan. Produce a Water Efficiency Action Plan that outlines your initial findings, sets out problem areas, priority improvements, targets and timescales. Communicate the plan and potential benefits to everyone concerned and get feedback.

  • Implement the plan using teamwork to generate ‘buy-in’. Maintain interest and motivation with regular communication on progress.
  • Review progress regularly and adapt the plan to take account of business changes or to improve the effectiveness of monitoring.
  • Report success to show the efficacy of the plan and to maintain focus going forward.

The secret to success

For a Water Efficiency Programme to be effective, engagement is key. Involving everyone in your business will encourage ownership and dramatically increase the likelihood of success. With everyone working towards the same goal, efficiencies are easier to identify, and water usage reduction becomes easier and more consistent. Cost savings will inevitably follow, delivering tangible, cost cutting benefits that can inspire staff to maintain their water-saving practises.

By improving business water efficiency, your manufacturing centre can achieve real benefits, save money, reduce its carbon footprint and preserve natural resources for future generations.