The term “Corporate Water Efficiency” has been floating around for over a decade now, and still, it is not widely understood by many in the corporate world.
When we discuss “Water Efficiency”, it’s very straightforward – to efficiently use water. But what does it mean, and how is corporate water efficiency any different?
Defining Corporate Water Efficiency
Water efficiency is reducing water wastage by measuring the amount of water required for a particular purpose and the amount of water used or delivered. Water efficiency differs from water conservation in that it focuses on reducing waste, not restricting use.
It can be improved by identifying and eliminating water wastage (for example: leaks, unnecessarily prolonged sprays, etc.), upgrading existing systems to a more efficient configuration, and reusing wastewater.
Why is Water Efficiency Important?
What water efficiency does is it reduces the costs directly associated with water. Improving water efficiency also improves the overall environmental footprint of a facility. In turn, improving the environmental footprint—achieving a return on environment (ROE)—also contributes to a healthy return on investment (ROI).
Corporate water efficiency will see water reuse and recycling, which creates a new water source, without requiring the extraction or transportation of water from somewhere else, reducing both power and water usage.
Another important aspect of corporate water efficiency is LEED compliance. LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a certification program and road map for reducing their environmental footprint. According to the LEED website, there are currently over 130,000 compliant projects – a huge growth compared to the 4,300 in 2010. It serves as a great benchmark for water efficiency.
What is Corporate Water?
There are 3 major categories for corporate water:
- Service Water
- Ingredient Water
- Cooling Water
You can find service water in pumps, seals, and in cleaning (from washing floors to cleaning products). It is a significant source of water usage, and as such – can often be improved upon through reuse and recycling. If you use an automatic filtration system to protect your equipment, process, and products, it most likely uses water to clean the filter regularly. By installing newer, more efficient systems, you can reduce the amount of water use considerably.
In this category, water is an actual ingredient in the final formation of the product. It can be a can of your favorite drink or part of your acrylic paint. This is water that goes through thorough processing and treatment. Improving its environmental footprint would come from making the process more environmentally friendly and efficient. An example of doing this is by eliminating the use of disposable filter cartridges and minimizing how much backflush water is produced.
If you want to reduce the environmental footprint of your industrial facilities, cooling water offers the best opportunity. When you realize that, according to the “Carrier System Design Manual”, a fouling layer of just 0.001 inches on a condenser surface can increase overall energy consumption by 10%. Plugging in condensers reduces the surface area available for heat exchange, lowering efficiency, and can also increase pumping costs by restricting flow. Sediment in cooling systems can accelerate wear in HVAC seals, pumps, and jackets. It can also increase corrosion by directly contacting metal components, and indirectly by shielding those components from corrosion inhibitors and oxidants. Finally, sediment can offer a beachhead and breeding ground for bacteria that can create biofouling and pose a health hazard to workers.
As you can see, even without delving into the specifics of corporate water efficiency, it’s a high-impact process for many organizations, resulting in both reducing their environmental impact, and maybe more importantly – reducing costs in both the short term and long term. One of the easiest ways to improve your company’s water efficiency is by using a quality automatic filtration system. With nearly 60 years of experience in the field of water filtration, and with countless projects throughout various industries, our solutions are probably your best choice to make that difference for your organization. Feel free to contact us and consult with our experts.