Because of a changing climate, reducing the environmental footprint of industrial operations has become more important than ever. It is no longer sufficient to simply attain sufficient profitability while avoiding discharge of toxic wastes. Increasingly industry must change strategies to become noticeably and substantially “greener”, in both the use of raw materials like water, and in the discharge of by-products heretofore considered benign (such as carbon, heat, odor, sludge, and mildly saline water). This is leading companies to be more efficient in using resources, handling waste, optimizing supply chain operations and producing more environmentally friendly products.
As water becomes more of a scarce resource, corporations are developing sustainability policies based on an effective water strategy. This strategy should encompass the full spectrum of water and wastewater treatments to uncover opportunities for cost savings, reduced downtime and improved operations. This document provides a framework for site managers, corporate officers, engineering firms and water saving advocates to develop a water efficiency objective and meet this objective by applying a variety of tools and metrics. What gets measured gets managed. The following four-step process will guide you through the necessary steps in delivering a reduction of water footprint and measuring the associated financial impact.
The four-step process is a structured framework to setting water footprint goals, executing initiatives, monitoring progress and celebrating success. The theme that connects all four steps is the ability to measure the water footprint using metrics.