Water savings could boost food industry profits, says Siemens

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Water, Recycling

Cutting water use could help food and beverage companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars and make businesses more sustainable, says Siemens Water Technologies which is promoting a six point water-saving strategy.

Chuck Gordon, the company’s president and CEO explains the scope for savings: “One customer was able to put new processes in place to re-capture and treat the water they were using for bottle washing, ultimately saving 25,000 gallons of water a day​.”

Gordon’s water-saving strategy outlines six tips for factory owners and operators to make saving through reducing their water footprint.

The strategy includes: Do your homework, treat water as a valuable resource, reuse and recycle, consider the link between water and energy, reduce waste and find more water-saving advice.

Scope for savings

First, planning water requirements more effectively from intake to discharge should allow companies to identify the scope for savings. “Preparing a water audit of your business can identify ways to reduce your water footprintimmediately,” ​said the company. Be sure to continue to monitor your usage closely.

Second, treat water as a valuable resource. Water is not free; it takes energy and technological resources to treat water. “Statistics show that almost 50 per cent of the world's population by 2030 will be living in areas of high water stress. So, the more tightly managed the water usage, the better​,” advises the company.

Third, reuse and recycle. Capturing, treating and recycling water during the manufacturing process can reduce water use by millions of gallons per year, as well as save money, explains the Siemens. This can be achieved by looking at areas like boiler feed water, utility water or recycling.

Fourth, consider the link between water and energy. Energy costs account for nearly 30 per cent of the operational costs at water treatment facilities. According to Siemens, a major brewing company installed technology, which by converting its waste to energy, was able to save the equivalent of $500,000 in energy costs per year at a single location.

Fifth,​reduce waste. An effective water management strategy can help reduce waste and discharge, while also helping to help to meet regulatory requirements.

Water Footprint Network

The sixth point to the strategy encourages firms to find more advice on water saving at the Water Footprint Network here​.

Stressing the scale of the opportunity to make savings, Gordon said: “More than 90 per cent of the world's fresh water is consumed in the agricultural and industrial sectors. It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer……about 5,000 gallons of water to grow a day's food for a family of four.”

So manufacturers across the globe should identify solutions to reduce their water footprint and increase efficiencies, he said. “The time is now to seal in the savings and begin working toward your sustainability targets​”.

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