Water Conservation: A Key To Environmental Sustainability

Water conservation


In industrial operations, manufacturers rely on water to complete certain functions. Factories use water to cool equipment, process products, wash away contaminates, and dilute chemical concentrations. Water may also be used to transport materials, as a heat transfer process, and be placed into products to keep them liquid or semi-fluid.

In 2015, industries used roughly 14,800 million gallons per day that same year, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Due to water being in limited supply globally, taking active steps toward water conservation becomes a vital and necessary goal for everyone to achieve. One active step that companies can take today is improving their spray nozzle technologies.

Spraying systems are designed to better direct water to the required locations in a controlled manner and at the right flow. Simply relying on holes drilled into a water pipe or older spray systems may use up more water than necessary, increasing both waste and water costs. Lechler offers customized spray nozzle products and maintenance for companies seeking cost-effective solutions when seeking environmental sustainability in operations. By reaching out to us, we can provide spray systems to help you conserve water usage in your operations.

Importance of Sustainable Water Management

Paper processing, metal fabrication, food and beverage processing, petrochemical, and chemical manufacturers are just a few industries that need water for their operations. The operations may need a viable way to propel the water in the workstation. Some examples involve spraying water to cool down refractories during steel production or rinsing out glass bottles in beverage operations.

Seeking spray nozzle solutions may help complete the specific task while also lowering the amount of water that is used. Lechler designs custom spray nozzle solutions specifically made for the application. Our products offer consistent water droplet sizes and flow rates, while installed at the right angles for greater range to reach all desired application areas.

These solutions ensure that your operations get the right water amounts to complete tasks while lowering both water use and water waste. Reducing how much water is pulled from potable water sources and how much wastewater reenters the environment are key factors in sustainable water management.

Surface water is the main source of industrial usage at 82% of total withdrawals. There is only332.5 million cubic miles of water available globally, yet only 22,300 cubic miles of fresh water sources are accessible. A United Nations (UN) study showed that North America (excluding Canada) produced 220 billion gallons (61 cubic kilometers) of wastewater per year from homes and manufacturing processes. When it comes to wastewater treatment in the United States, about 2.3 cubic kilometers (3.8%) of wastewater is treated annually.

Sustainable water management and development are guiding principles where a company develops processes and manages them to meet the current economic, social, and ecological needs of society. At the same time, these processes will not compromise the needs of the environment or the ability for future human generations to meet their needs. It basically focuses on balancing the economic growth of the country with environmental conservation.

The Ceres 2018 report, Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, has found that only 55% of 600 publicly-traded companies have a general commitment to pursue water efficiency efforts to manage their resources. The study also found that only 20% of these companies have a set timeframe while the other 45% of companies do not disclose any information about their water management efforts, according to the Pacific Council of International Policy.

Getting more companies on board with these global water conservation efforts, and maintaining their sustainable water management policies, ensures that there will still be enough water to accommodate the world's population in the years to come. There are many benefits to seeking water conservation to help with corporate sustainability goals.

How Does Water Conservation Help in Sustainability?

A major goal for a company is to have sustainable business operations that will last for the long-term. For any industry that utilizes water in their processes, water conservation becomes vital to keep operations running within the company's budget. Some ways that water conservation helps with sustainability includes the following:

Reduces rising water costs: When a commodity becomes scarce, the price for that commodity rises. The same practice holds true with water resources. When water supplies drop, the prices for water treatment, transportation, and transmission for it increases.

Reduces water shortages: By reducing and more efficiently using available water, it decreases the likelihood of water shortages occurring. This practice is essential during drought conditions, so people are able to use water throughout the day without dealing with local and state imposed water restrictions.

Lowers wastewater production: Pursuing efforts to limit water use as well as reusing processed water repeatedly in operations helps to lower the amount of wastewater that reenters the environment. It also increases water availability.

Limits pollution and energy use: In addition to limiting the amount of wastewater produced in industrial processes, pollution is also created when the water is processed and transported to industrial facilities. Both electricity and fuel are used so that the water reaches processes. Also, many of these processes make excessive carbon emissions that are harmful to the environment, as water conservation may help lower these emissions.

Practical Ways to Conserve Water

While homeowners can limit how much water they use every day, industry leaders can feel that water conservation is a daunting and an impossible process for their companies. Yet there are practical ways to pursue these principles to enhance environmental sustainability. Perhaps the overarching method involves upgrading the operational infrastructure.

For example, companies that use water for cleaning, decontamination, and sanitizing components and products may invest in spray nozzle systems and technologies. Companies may upgrade their pipes, valves, nozzles, tanks, and other water-related systems with energy-efficient alternatives.

Switching from using potable water to non-potable water for certain processes can lower how much water is used. Reclaiming used water and recycling it into other operations may lower transportation costs, energy, and pollution. Also, consider alternatives to using water to achieve the same results for certain processes. You may discover that an air-based cleaning method is just as efficient and reliable as a water-based method without impacting the quality or products or processes.

How to Prepare for the Future

The United Nations has established that the treatment of wastewater should reach 6.3% by 2030 to help improve water quality and reduce environmental pollution. Companies can invest in technologies that help them to better track their water and electricity usage in operations. Then they can develop sustainability best practices to pursue water conservation. Here at Lechler, we offer spray nozzle solutions for companies in a wide variety of industries including power generation, food & beverage, components manufacturing, and chemical. Reach out to us today to learn more.