“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
While Coleridge’s poem describes a thirsty man at sea, surrounded by water that he cannot drink, this line of the poem is becoming increasingly apt for terrestrials. Clean water, it turns out, is a finite and precious resource in an era when drought, floods, aquifer depletion and pollution are playing havoc with the water supply. Manufacturers and printers who use water in their production processes are eager to implement ways to conserve this valuable commodity.
The US Department of Energy has information and resources available through its Better Buildings Water Savings Network, which touts industry partners with real-world ideas and solutions to share. The network’s 60+ partners include these industry leaders:
- Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company
- Electrolux, a home appliance manufacturer
- Ford Motor Company
- General Motors
- HARBEC, a custom injection molder and precision component part manufacturer
- Nissan North America
- Saint-Gobain, a manufacturer of high-performance building materials
- Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
The network offers tools and information available to anyone, including these top five free-for-the-asking resources:
Corporate Water Management Strategy for Manufacturers
This white paper includes insights from leading manufacturers on developing new, or improving existing, water management programs. Topics covered include:
- How to make the business case for water saving projects
- Identifying facilities and water sources for initial focus
- Establishing water use baselines and water metrics
- Water management strategies and water reduction efforts used by manufacturing companies
WaterSense Simple Water Assessment Checklist
Use this writable PDF to help quickly identify and target potential projects and best management practices.
The checklist covers general projects like installing submeters on major water-using equipment, systems and processes, and forming a green team to engage employees in saving water throughout the facility. The checklist zeroes in on sanitary fixtures and equipment, outdoor water use and mechanical systems such as chillers and flow meters. The checklist also includes a short section on alternative water sources.
Solution at a Glance – The city of L.A.’s Fact Sheet
on Cooling Tower Efficiency
This compact factsheet developed by the city of Los Angeles provides information and recommended options for cooling tower efficiency.
Use this fact sheet for quick specs on conductivity controller upgrades, pH controllers, pre-treatment water softening, reverse osmosis and creating zero bleed by using non-chemical precipitation type treatment.
WaterSense Operations and Maintenance Checklist
This checklist identifies low- or no-cost changes to operation and maintenance procedures with which to quickly begin saving water, energy and costs.
The checklist covers metering and leak detection, changes to sanitary fixtures and tips for saving water in outdoor landscaping and irrigation. It also offers 20+ suggestions for water saving changes that can be implemented in mechanical systems.
Water Efficiency Planning & Operations
This collection of resources offers help for establishing water management strategies and reducing water consumption in buildings and operations.
The range of topics covered includes:
- Making a plan for managing water-efficiency: Resources include alternative water maps, Whole Building Design Guide recommendations, the EPA’s own water management techniques, programs offered by water utilities, as well as design elements and strategies for a net zero water building.
- Monitoring and tracking data: Strategies and tools include water meter selection guidelines, estimating methods for determining end-use water consumption, and a local-climate-specific tool for measuring water for landscaping use.
- Operations and maintenance: Find fact sheets on commercially available water-saving technologies, along with tips for efficiently maintaining and operating water equipment.