By 2045 the total UK water supply is projected to decline by 7% as a consequence of climate change. As a result, many businesses that use large volumes of water on a daily basis, such as the arable farming and beverage industry, are having to adapt and implement measures to reduce water use and improve water efficiency.

How can large industries reduce their water consumption?

Water efficiency audits

Start saving water by preparing a water efficiency management strategy. Carry out regular water efficiency audits to identify opportunities for water-saving initiatives. Make sure you are recording monthly meter readings as well, to effectively monitor your business water usage. A time-saving method that large businesses, and multi-site organisations, often install is automatic meter reading (AMR) devices. These devices easily track business water consumption and are usually the first way to identify any leaks. Ensure your water efficiency success continues by creating consumption baselines, based on your business water usage data. Compare baselines against your desired water outcomes to help re-evaluate efficiency strategies and decide what next steps are necessary for achieving your water efficiency goals.

Smart technology

Replace any out-of-date equipment with energy-efficient alternatives. Every industry is different, so where applicable in your business, consider investing in an alternative to water technology (also known as ‘dry’ technology). As the name suggests, dry technology does not use any water processes; utilising this technology will instantly reduce your business water consumption without changing your business operations. For instance, you may want to switch your water-cooling technology to air-cooling technology, such as air compressors.

Removing water from non-operational activities

Your business may be using more water than necessary by means of non-operational activities. Large industries can vastly reduce their water consumption by simply removing any non-essential equipment that requires water. Instead consider implementing another water-saving alternative that can still offer the same results. One example is landscaping. Rather than planting trees and shrubbery that need watered by sprinklers or other irrigation systems, opt for native plant species that can survive without additional water.

Find opportunities to reuse and recycle water

Where possible look for opportunities where your business can re-use water. With proper water management, which could involve water treatment processes, industrial water can be reused for a variety of both industrial and nonindustrial functions. For instance, water can be reused in cooling processes, crop irrigation, washing vehicles, and toilet flushing. Naturally, industries that consume a high volume of water will have more possibilities for internal water reuse.

Recycling your business wastewater will help to alleviate the increased pressure on the water system by reducing the amount of water abstraction. Consider alternative water sources, such as rain and stormwater run-off, and surface water. Utilising alternative water sources will result in your business using less freshwater, meaning reduced water bills, greater savings, and improved environmental wellbeing.

Becoming more water-efficient will not only help your business to reach sustainability and environmental targets but also save money on your water bill.

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