Water

Water is essential to manufacturers – whether for powering complex steam processes or use in simple domestic purposes.  It is also a resource that has come under increasing risk in recent years, making it more imperative to reduce water waste. Recognizing this, more manufacturers are expanding their sustainability efforts to include water efficiency and conservation.

There are many challenges to implementing water efficiency measures at a manufacturing facility, such as poor ROIs on water efficiency projects and insufficient data on water use within the facility. However, understanding the true costs of water and assessing water efficiency opportunities can lead to substantial water and energy savings. Starting with basic good housekeeping practices and progressing to more advanced conservation strategies can help to establish a robust water management program.

Top Water Efficiency Measures

  1. Conduct a water balance
  2. Identify and fix leaks
  3. Consider water efficiency in the design and procurement of new systems
  4. Review equipment specifications and adjust water use accordingly
  5. Eliminate once-through-uses where possible, such as for cooling or cleaning

Learn more by reading a Better Plants report, DEVELOPING A CORPORATE WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR MANUFACTURERS. Explore additional resources specific to Better Plants partners and connect with the water efficiency-subject matter expert below.

Presentations


Learn about innovative, replicable water-solutions and best practices implemented by Better Plants partners.

Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: The Next Wave of Challenges and Solutions

"Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: The Next Wave of Challenges and Solutions" was presented by Nancy Sutley from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at the 2017 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: The Next Wave of Challenges and Solutions." 

Barriers and Solutions to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Water Facilities

“Barriers and Solutions to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Water Facilities" was presented by Martin Adams from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at the 2015 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, “Breaking Down the Barriers to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Deployment in Water & Wastewater Facilities.” 

Better Plants Challenge, U.S. Department of Energy

"Better Plants Challenge, U.S. Department of Energy" was presented by Anselmo G. Collins from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at the 2016 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Going with the Flow: Water Utilities Enhancing Energy Efficiency, Management and Recover." 

Community/Customer Engagement

"Community/Customer Engagement" was presented by Bruce Bartel from NEW Water at the 2018 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Sustainable Water/Wastewater Infrastructure: 'Selling' Your Facility Upgrades." 

Cummins Water Program

“Cummins Water Program" was presented by Mark Dhennin from Cummins at the 2016 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Innovative Industrial Projects: Technologies and Projects that Save Water."

Energy & Water Solutions

"Energy & Water Solutions" was presented by George Barclay from The Dow Chemical Company at the 2017 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: The Next Wave of Challenges and Solutions." 

GM Water Management Business Plan

“GM Water Management Business Plan” was presented by Todd Williams from General Motors at the 2016 World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) session, “Water & Wastewater Treatment Energy Efficiency.” 

Harbec Water Neutral Project

"Harbec Water Neutral Project was presented by Bob Bechtold from HARBEC at the 2016 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Beyond Flow Restrictors: Partners Share their Water Saving Strategies." 

Leveraging Energy Management to Address Water Conservation

"Leveraging Energy Management to Address Water Conservation" was presented by Sharon Nolen from Eastman Chemical Company at the 2018 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Not Just for Energy: Repurposing an Energy Management System for Water Efficiency."

Manufacturing Water Strategy - Lessons Learned

“Manufacturing Water Strategy - Lessons Learned" was presented by Heidi McKenzie from Ford Motor Company at the 2015 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, “Now That We've Dipped Our Toe In... Water Pilot Lessons Learned.”

Repurposing a Corporate Energy Management System for Water Efficiency

"Repurposing a Corporate Energy Management System for Water Efficiency" was presented by Alan Resnik from Cummins, Inc. at the 2018 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Not Just for Energy: Repurposing an Energy Management System for Water Efficiency."

UTC Water Reduction Goals

"UTC Water Reduction Goals" was presented by Sean West from United Technologies Corporation at the 2016 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Innovative Industrial Projects: Technologies and Practices that Save Water."

Water Efficiency in the Autmotive Sector

"Water Efficiency in the Automotive Sector" was presented by Stephen Pierett from Volvo Group North America at the 2015 World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) session, "New Markets and Ways of Finding and Measuring Energy Savings."

Water Reuse

"Water Reuse" was presented by Jon Holland from Nissan North America, Inc. at the 2018 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit session, "Water Reuse: Successful Outcomes and Innovative Strategies." 

Solutions


Learn about innovative, replicable water-solutions and best practices implemented by Better Plants Challenge partners.

HARBEC: Water Retention Pond

HARBEC’s Water Retention Pond is a key project supporting the company’s goal to be water neutral, which the company defines as eliminating the use of municipally supplied water for all purposes except drinking and hand washing. This goal will be achieved through a series of water efficiency measures, as well as utilization of the pond, which captures and stores rainwater for use in plant operations.

Nissan: Recylcing Water Using Advanced Filter Strategies

Since the start of production in 1983, Nissan’s Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant in Tennessee has built more than 11.5 million vehicles. The Smyrna plant’s paint engineers were searching for ways to reduce water consumption, which is a key part of the manufacturing process. Nissan ultimately invested in water filtration upgrades for four manufacturing systems.

United Technologies Corporation: Global Water Conservation Guidance Document

Water use has long been an important part of United Technology Corporation's (UTC’s) sustainability goals. The company is currently working toward a global target to reduce water use by 40% by end of 2015 and is in the process of setting a new water reduction goal out to 2020. To help meet its ambitious goals, UTC developed a comprehensive internal guidance document that details the company’s global water scarcity assessment, best practices in managing water at individual sites, and water saving case studies.

Webinars


Downsteam Savings: From Water Efficiency to Energy Savings

This webinar explored innovative measures Better Buildings Challenge partners have taken to improve water efficiency while reducing energy use. United Technologies Corporation, for example, discussed their impressive water reduction goals and best practices in managing water, while also focusing on energy management strategies at diverse manufacturing sites.

Getting Started with Water Efficiency at Manufacturing Facilities

This webinar discusses the steps any manufacturing facility can take to get started with water efficiency.


Subject Matter Expert - Prakash Rao

Dr. Prakash Rao is a Principal Scientific Engineering Associate within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Prakash conducts research and analysis into the potential for reducing the energy consumption and water use impacts of the U.S. manufacturing sector while maintaining its productivity. To this end, he assists in the development of related technical assistance and deployment activities. This includes analysis of manufacturing water use characteristics and conservation strategies, tools (Navigator) and programs (SEP and 50001 Ready) to increase the uptake of ISO 50001 in the U.S., tools to support advanced measurement and verification techniques (EnPI Lite), and analysis of motor system energy consumption and efficiency potential.  Dr. Rao received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

You can reach Prakash with water-related questions at prao@lbl.gov