There are three easy steps to reduce the amount of water used while manufacturing products. Begin by identifying all wasteful processes. Second retrofit your machinery to be more water-efficient. Third, reuse your wastewater, if possible.
1. Identify all wasteful processes. You can identify all waste by inspecting your manufacturing equipment. Begin where your material input is, and inspect each piece of machinery that uses water. Look for areas where water may be splashed out of containment trays. Also look for dripping plumbing, such as tubing or pipes that may be leaking. Leaks are often significant contributors to wastewater, and can be easy to fix.
2. Retrofit your machinery to be more water efficient. For example, if you have water splashing out of basins, you can install a larger catch basin to catch the splashing water. Also, you can retrofit other fixtures such as faucets.
3. Re-use your wastewater if possible. You can re-use wastewater by containing it in a basin and re-circulating it. If you use water to rinse products, the water often can be circulated multiple times until the concentration of particulate s reach a certain level. Also, water can be re-used in different ways such as for irrigation. Many municipalities are installing “purple pipes” which carry recycled water. This is most commonly used for irrigation of landscapes.
For more information, visit http://www.waterwise-consulting.com
GSA in New Bulletin to Government Agencies: Travel Green | Green Lodging News.
The lodging industry is undergoing a major shift to greener and more sustainable practices. One of the driving factors behind this shift is consumer demand. Individual travelers, businesses and corporate meeting planners have been leading the charge. Travel sites like Orbitz and Travelocity now show it in their listings if a hotel is “green certified”, which allows travel planners to make a choice up front. Various states have their own “green lodging” standards or certifications. Now the federal government has raised the bar for official travel.
“The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), on September 30, 2010, issued GSA Bulletin FTR 10-06. The purpose of the bulletin is to provide guidance to employees of agencies subject to the Federal Travel Regulation to enhance travel cost savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The bulletin includes suggestions regarding green lodging and green meetings. The guidance will improve management of agency travel programs, save money on travel costs, better protect the environment, and conserve natural resources. According to the bulletin, when managing travel programs, sustainability and protecting the interests of taxpayers must be among the prime considerations during travel planning and execution.”
Due to the quantity of federal travelers, this could be the next big shove toward green business that the travel industry needs. There are many green certifications competing for attention now, even more than a few just in the lodging industry. Although the feds don’t require that hotels meet a third-party certification, they are recommending that hotels meet one or more of the following criteria:
• LEED Certified;
• Earned EPA’s Energy Star rating;
• Participate in EPA’s Waste Wise and WaterSense programs;
• “have made a stated commitment to practicing environmentally preferable purchasing in the products and services used by the property.”
Of course here at WaterWise we are interested in the water use aspects of this trend. Unfortunately, green does not always include much attention to blue. Water efficiency is addressed differently by all of the certifying organizations. Almost all give it some level of attention, but more could be done. Hotels have a fairly high water-use profile and there exist many opportunities for improving efficiency, so the standards are not as rigorous as they might be. Common improvements suggested include the use of higher efficiency toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators in guest rooms. Linen reuse programs are another common suggestion: one that saves hotels water, energy, chemical costs and labor costs. Fairly inexpensive to implement, these programs get a fairly high level of participation from consumers, which shows that many hotel guests don’t mind a little sacrifice in order to do some good for the environment. Care must be taken, however, to rigorously train the housekeeping staff to follow the program.
Less attention is paid to other water-saving opportunities. Other savings are available in the laundry operations of hotels, like ozone water treatment. Water use in restaurant and banquet kitchens, swimming pools and spas, cooling towers, landscape irrigation and cleaning can all be improved. A water use audit by an experienced water consultant is an excellent way for a hotel property to learn more about their water use and about the many ways to reduce it cost-effectively.
Put the blue in your green–wherever you travel, make sure that water efficiency an important part of the “green travel” efforts made by you, your company, or your government agency.
Water stills are used in many third-world and un-developed countries to provide clean, safe drinking water for thirsty residents. They function on the simple basis of evaporation, and they have the incredible ability to make brackish and saltwater drinkable.
Water stills are able to clean non-potable water through evaporation because water evaporates more readily than other molecules. For example, water (H2O) is able to evaporate much more easily than the salt ions in it (Na+ and Cl-). Water stills can also be used to filter sediments out of water when it comes from contaminated sources.
To make a small still for fun, get a small tray such as a pie tin. If you have something that is similar and darker in color, that will work better. Make a cone out of plastic, and place it over the tray. Tilt the cone so that one edge is lower than the other, and place a cup or other water-tight container below it. Fill the pie dish or other container with water and place the entire container in the sun. Check it after a few hours and there should be condensation on the cone. If it is hot enough outside, there might even be some water in the cup.
For more information on water-related topics, visit http://www.waterwise-consulting.com
Whenever working in your garden or landscaping, it is important to test your soil drainage. Soils with excess clay have poor drainage because the small clay particles hold lots of water. Sandy soils, on the other hand, have relatively large particles so the water moves through it very quickly. It is important to make sure you have proper soil drainage because soils with excess clay hold water and may lead to root diseases such as rotting.
To test your soil drainage rate, there are a few steps:
1. Dig a hole 18” deep and 6” wide
2. Fill the hole with water, and let it drain overnight
3. Now, fill the hole again on the second day and record the time
4. Check the hole about every hour, until the water drains out for the second time
If the water drains out of the hole in three hours or fewer, you soil drains quickly. If it takes four to six hours for the water to drain, you have optimal drainage. If the water takes more than seven or eight hours to drain, you have poor drainage.
To maintain an optimal drainage level, you can add different soil amendments. If your water drains too quickly, you can add clay soils and mix them in. If the water drains too slowly, you can add sand and mix it in with your existing soil.
For more information, visit http://www.waterwise-consulting.com
Here are some ways to reduce the amount of water wasted in swimming pools:
Use a pool cover: Pool covers can reduce evaporation by up to 90 to 95%. Without a pool cover, almost half of the water you pump into your pool can evaporate if you are in a hot and arid climate.
Lower the water level: By lowering the water level, you reduce the amount of water that is splashed onto the pool deck. Keep the water level 1” above the pool tiles to prevent excess splashing.
Backwash pool filters only when necessary: Backwashing pool filters uses a significant amount of water. You can reduce the frequency of backwashing by keeping your pool filters clean and free of debris.
Poolside landscaping: Strategically landscape around your pool to reduce the amount of sun that hits it. By planting tall shrubs and other plants around your pool, you can shade the water and less water will evaporate.
Monitor your energy and water bills: By monitoring your bills, you will know if a leak forms. Water bills tend to follow seasonal fluctuations, so you should not have a spike in water use during cool winter months.
Lower the temperature of your pool: By lowering the temperature of your pool, you reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
While most people know about the mandated 20% reduction in water use recently, how many people knows if this was effective or not? What is the effect of using 20% less water?
According to the California Department of Natural Resources, the water levels in eight out of twelve California reservoirs are at or above historical averages. This means that the reservoirs hold at least the same-if not more water-than the average amount they have held previously. In other words, eight out of twelve reservoirs have more water now than they have had when their prior levels are averaged.
Does this mean that we can use more water, since we have more water in the reservoirs? Definitely not. While it is undoubtedly a good sign for California water resources, it is by no means a green light to waste water. We must still conserve water because our reservoirs can only last so long before they literally dry up in the event of a drought or other natural disaster. As with any other natural resource, they are greatly influenced by natural events and as such should never be taken for granted. We should take this time as Californians to appreciate the water we have, while we still have it. Since we cannot definitively predict the future, we have no way of knowing how much water will be available in the coming years. If we drain our reservoirs now, what happens if there is not enough water available in future years?
In order to be safe, we must conserve water while we can. By lessening our impact on California’s water resources, we can together continue to thrive without worrying about where our next water supply will be.
To view information on California’s reservoir levels, please visit: