Follow

Water Use

Water is an essential and limited resource on the planet. Industrial processes are impacting the availability of potable (drinking) water that is critical to sustaining natural systems and communities. It is important to reduce the water withdrawn to improve efficiency and water performance.

At the beginning of this section you will be asked to evaluate your water risk using either the WRI Aqueduct Tool or the WWF Water Risk Filter. Facilities with high water use and those located in areas of high/very high water risk will be asked to complete the full Water section to ensure appropriate water management. Facilities with low water use that are located in areas of low water risk will only need to answer Level 1 questions.

The water withdrawn for your factory may come from the following sources (reference: CDP Water Reporting Guidance):    

  • Fresh surface water
  • Rainwater
  • Groundwater
  • Produced/process water
  • Municipal water
  • Wastewater from another organization
  • Brackish surface water/seawater
  • Recycled water

The Higg Water section requires you to:

  • Track all water sources and report quantity used in the last calendar year
  • Identify which factors require the most water use on site (e.g., machines, processes, or operations that use the most water)
  • Set a normalized baseline for water use, such as “20 cubic meters per unit of production in 2016”
  • Set normalized targets for water reduction, such as “Reduce water used per unit of production by 70% in 2020”
  • Set an action plan with specific actions and strategies to achieve water reduction targets
  • Demonstrate water reductions against the baseline such as “Last year we used 15 cubic meters per unit of production which is a 25% annual reduction.” 

For more introductory information on Water please visit: link to howtohigg.org  

Water Use Introduction

We know water is critical to life. We also know Earth is becoming hotter, drier, and more crowded. As human population grows and consumers demand more apparel and footwear products, freshwater is also becoming more heavily demanded. There is a finite amount of water on Earth, but we are demanding more and more water to sustain our population and our industry. If your factory uses freshwater as global demand for water increases, your factory is reducing the amount of clean, potable water available to workers, the community, and the environment. This not only creates a risk for your business, but creates a risk for your community and planet on a broader scale.

It is important to understand how much water you are withdrawing, in order to take action to improve your freshwater across your facility sites' operations. 

Water used by companies may come from a number of sources, including the following (definition reference: CDP Water Reporting Guidance):           

  • Fresh surface water: Surface water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. (Fresh water underground is called groundwater and oceans are not freshwater). Fresh water sources are generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts (below 1,000 mg/l) and other total dissolved solids.
  • Rainwater: If a company is managing rainwater, either to harvest and use, or to prevent flooding for example, they should try to estimate and disclose it as withdrawal from the hydrological system. This helps companies better understand their water dependency and risks.
  • Groundwater: Water in soil beneath the soil surface, usually under conditions where the pressure in the water is greater than the atmospheric pressure, and the soil voids are substantially filled with the water. Non-renewable groundwater is generally located at deeper depths and cannot be replenished easily or is replenished over very long periods of time. They are sometimes referred to as “fossil” groundwater sources.
  • Produced/process water: Water which, during extraction or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material (e.g. crude oil or a by-product from sugar cane crushing), intermediate product, finished product, by-product, or waste product. Please note this category should NOT be confused with recycled water.
  • Municipal water: Water provided by a municipality or other public provider.
  • Wastewater from another organization: Ceres Aqua gauge defines wastewater as “Water that is of no further immediate value to the purpose for which it was used or in the pursuit of which it was produced because of its quality, quantity or time of occurrence.” o Cooling water is not considered to be wastewater.
  • Brackish surface water/seawater: Brackish water is water in which the concentration of salts is relatively high (over 10,000 mg/l). Seawater has a typical concentration of salts above 35,000 mg/l.
  • Recycled Water:
    • Recycled Process Water: treated effluent used again in main process
    • Reused Water: treated effluent used in other areas except recycled water such as toilets or landscaping 

According to GRI – G4’s explanation of Indicator EN10, recycled or reused water is defined as “an act of processing used water/wastewater through another cycle before discharge to final treatment and/or discharge to the environment”. It specifies three general types of water recycling/reuse practices:

  • Wastewater recycled back in the same process or higher use of recycled water in the process cycle;  
  • Wastewater recycled/re-used in a different process, but within the same facility; and  
  • Wastewater re-used at another of the reporting organization’s facilities. In accordance with Indicator EN10, this can include water that was treated prior to reuse and water that was not treated prior to reuse. It can also include collected rainwater and wastewater generated by household processes such as washing dishes, laundry, and bathing (grey water).

Note: You may use the water in the form that it is provided or you may need to treat the water.

 At the beginning of this section you will be asked to evaluate your water risk using either the WRI Aqueduct Tool or the WWF Water Risk Filter. Facilities with high water use and those located in areas of high/very high water risk will be asked to complete the full Water section to ensure appropriate water management. Facilities with low water use that are located in areas of low water risk will only need to answer Level 1 questions.

For more information regarding the WWF Water Risk Filter please review: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tcia6h2hawsxezi/Water%20Risk%20Filter%20User%20Guide.pdf?dl=0

 

Water Use - Level 1

1.     Select all water sources used by your facility

·       Source

·       Does your facility track its water use from this source?

·       What quantity of water from this source was used in the last calendar year?

·       Which method was used to track water use from this source?

·       What was the frequency of measurement?

Suggested uploads: Utility bills or water meter readings for the full calendar year

If you are unable to tell us the amount of water used from a source, the method being used to track it, and the frequency of measurement; please select No or Unknown as your answer option for the question: Does your facility track its water use from this source?

You will receive full points if you are completely tracking the quantity of water that your facility withdraws from all sources.

You will receive partial points if you are completely tracking at least one of your sources, but are not yet tracking all of your sources.

The Higg FEM converts water use data into common units (m3) and % of total use

This information will be used to auto-calculate average daily water use to determine applicability.

  • If your facility site uses more than 35 m3/day, you are a HEAVY WATER USER
  • If your facility site uses less than or equal to 35 m3/day, you are a LIGHT WATER USER

What is the intent of the question?

Measurement of all freshwater use from all freshwater sources is the foundation of a water management. Ensuring measurement of all freshwater sources facilitates the ability to perform a water balance, set freshwater based key performance indicators (KPI), identify water leaks, and establish and measure freshwater footprint.

The most common freshwater use is potable municipal or city water (drinking water). Other sources can be from ground water wells, surface waters (lakes, rivers, and streams), rain water, and even condensate when collected from steam which is supplied to the business from an external source.

Technical Guidance:

Walk the site and speak with knowledgeable personnel to understand your facility’s business process and spaces which requiring water use (both production and non-production functions such as dormitory and canteen). Take inventory of how the site obtains water and gather information on where the water comes from. For each source, determine who or what supplies the water. If the water is metered, define how frequently flow information is collected. In cases where water is invoiced, review bill records to determine volume billed over billing cycle period. If neither are available develop and document a methodology to estimate quantity consumed over a set period of time.

Glossary: 

  • Freshwater: The most common freshwater use is potable municipal or city water (drinking water).  Other sources can be from ground water wells, surface waters (lakes, rivers, and streams), rain water, and even condensate when collected from steam which is supplied to the business from an external source.
  • Freshwater Footprint:  is defined as the total volume of all freshwater used to produce goods and services within a defined time period.  This includes freshwater use in canteens, dormitories, landscape irrigation, vehicle washing, etc. – all freshwater use.  The number represents the environmental impact as it pertains to freshwater use.  A sustainable business should strive to minimize freshwater footprint.  Many ways can be used to reduce freshwater use, including: fixing leaks, manufacturing process efficiency improvements, technology upgrades, reuse, and recycling.
  • Recycled Water: Recycled water is the reuse of wastewater that has been treated to remove solids and certain impurities to meet water quality standards associated with the designated application.
  • Wastewater: is defined as water of a quality that no longer serves a useful purpose for the business and is normally discharged under a permit from the property.
  • Water recycling: a reliable water supply which significantly lowers a facility’s water footprint.  Advances in wastewater treatment technology and recycling ability enable business growth while minimizing environmental impact.  As freshwater supplies around the world experience increased stress due to demand, recycling will play a greater role in overall water supply strategies.
  • Units = common consistent units.  Examples: If dyeing or using wet processes proper units would be volume/mass. For finished goods proper units are volume/piece.

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/CBD-Metering-Guide.pdf

How this will be verified:

  • Expectations for Yes
    • Documentation required
      • All water sources at the facility are tracked in full. This means that all water sources listed in the Level 1 table have complete answers in all columns.
      • Meter calibration and reading records for all sources tracked
      • Billing records, if applicable, for all sources tracked
      • Estimate methodology documented for all sources tracked (if applicable)
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Confirm sources of water extraction
      • If a facility has flow meters, see if the flowmeters are in place and working
      • Take a photo of flowmeters (if applicable)
  • Expectations for Partial Yes
    • Same requirements as for "yes" above for at least one water source at the facility. This must be tracked in full. This means that at least one (but not all) water sources listed in the Level 1 table have complete answers in all columns and there is evidence to support all of the answers.

Other References: This question can be used to inform responses to The Sustainability Consortium's Home and Apparel Textiles Toolkit. The Water Use - Supply Chain Key Performance Indicator asks respondents if total annual water use is reported by fabric facilities. The fabric facility data can be aggregated by brands to answer TSC's question.

 

Water use - Level 2

2. Has your facility set baselines for water use? If yes, select all water sources for which your facility has set a baseline.

·       Source

·       Is the baseline absolute or normalized?

·       What is the baseline quantity and unit of measure?

·       Enter baseline year

·       How was your baseline calculated?

·      Was the baseline verified?

Answer No/Unknown if you are unable to tell us your baseline year and normalized quantity for a source. 

What is the intent of the question?

In order to demonstrate improvements or reductions, it’s important to know what your starting point is. Setting a baseline (i.e. the annual performance of a set parameter of a defined base year) enables you to have clear reference point for ongoing water use tracking and target setting.

Technical guidance:

In order to demonstrate improvements or reductions, it's important to know what your starting point is. A "baseline" is a starting point or benchmark that you can use to compare yourself against over time. For example, if your factory used 80 m3 of water per 10,000 fabric meters in 2016, you will be able to compare your performance against this amount in years to come. In this example, "80 m3 of water per 10,000 fabric meters in 2016" is an example of a normalized baseline.

Data validation is very important for this step. The data needs to be stable before setting the baseline. A viable baseline is developed:

  1. Using stable data: if your factory has undergone major structural change such as acquisition and change in product type, you shall select the baseline after those changes are complete  
  2. Normalization: if you select a normalized baseline, it will be normalized against the production units entered into the Site Information section for annual production. (e.g. if you selected annual production in “Meters”, your baseline will be normalized against Meters.
  3. Verified data: data should be accurate and verifiable. Verified water use data from Higg FEM 3.0 is an acceptable source of baseline. Baseline data verified by internal audit process is also acceptable)

How this will be verified:

  • Yes
    • Description for how the baseline was calculated
    • Documentation that shows the baseline matches consumption records for the year the baseline was set
    • Baseline communicated to the relevant employees and linked to the major impact sources as identified in Level 1.
      • Communication methods may include: Meeting, bulletin board posting, newsletter release, any other form of written communication.
    • Ability to demonstrate how baseline data was validated (e.g., used Higg 3.0 verified data, used internal validation process, external audit, etc.) 

3. Does your facility know what facility processes or operations use the most water?

Upload the methodology for identifying the highest water use factors OR If you do not have a document to upload, describe your methodology here:

What are the highest water use factors at your facility?

Suggested uploads: ranking of processes or services that consume the most water (with water consumption values).

 It is important to understand what influences water withdrawal the most in your facility. This allows you to strategically target those factors in order to reduce water withdrawal.

Answer Yes only if you have documented incoming water, water loss and outgoing water in a water pipeline drawing/diagram/flowchart that is complete with meter locations.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to assess freshwater usage and impacts for the site and to identify which processes or operations use the most water.

For sustainability efforts to continue a facility should identify and rank water impact influences within the facility boundary. Once a facility has an understanding of specific influences on water impact it can strategically reduce the water usage and impact by targeting those factors.  A facility must be able to measure uses and context-based water risks before they can be effectively controlled.

Technical Guidance:

If the facility understands what influences water use and impacts it the most, details will be needed to fill out the subsequent questions that will be asked. The facility must be able to demonstrate how the highest water use process/operation is determined and what specifically is causing the high use of water.

To answer this question properly a facility must be able to understand how much water is going into a specific area / tool / process.  A site process flow diagram with identification of where usage is metered or can be estimated is a first step to identifying high level water use areas. 

One way to start is to create a water audit template. This involves manually listing out all equipment on site that uses water and then identifying through meters, quick tests, or estimates how much water each item on the list uses.  Once complete, like items can be combined and totaled to enable comparing bathrooms to dye equipment for instance. This provides a good snapshot of how various areas are performing but requires time and effort to complete.  Since a water audit is only a single view in time, it lacks performance over time visibility.

Where to go for more info:  

Sites may want to invest in portable water meters to allow water measurement readings throughout the facility. Both battery operated digital in-line meters as well as non-invasive mount around the pipe ultrasonic meters are available.

How this will be verified:

  • Expectations for Yes
    • Documentation required
      • Facility can demonstrate they have evaluated and are aware of incoming water, water loss and outgoing water in facilit through one or both of the following:
        • Documented water assessment (conducted internally or by a third party) of the site identifying the aspects that contribute the most to the water withdrawal
        • Facility flowchart including where measurements are made for water use and wastewater effluents.
      • Interview questions to ask
        • The management and key employees know what aspects of the site contribute the most to the water withdrawal based on the results of n water assessment conducted internally or externally
        • The management and key employees understand local water challenges and how site impacts link to these – for example is the site is using high levels of groundwater in a groundwater stressed area
      • Inspection - things to physically look for
        • Review water pipeline drawing/diagram/flowchart, check if the factory is knowledgeable regarding their water usage
        • Sub metering and proper record keeping for water consumption
        • Employment site operations and activities observed are in line with legal requirements relating to water use (including water abstraction permit requirements)
        • No water leaks from water tanks or water pipes are observed
        • Please take photos

4. Has your facility set targets for reducing water use? If yes, select all sources of water for which your facility has set a reduction target.

Upload: Documentation describing the targets in place to reduce the water withdrawal

Evidence of the site’s actions towards meeting the targets or documentation of the review structure and responsibility delegation to achieve results

 Answer No/Unknown if you are unable to state your target amount, year and whether it is absolute or normalized for a source

You will receive full points if you set targets for water sources that make up 80% or more of your total water use. You will receive partial points if you set targets for water sources that make up 50-79% or more of your total water use. This is to reward you for aiming to reduce your greatest sources of water withdrawal which will maximize environmental impact.

What is the intent of the question?

The water balance facilitates creation of water management strategies and also highlight areas with opportunity for improvement.  Unlocking the potential benefit is facilitated by creating a target based on a baseline metric.  A target is a normalized metric driving improvement compared to the baseline metric by a set date.

A target can be an absolute or normalized metric driving improvement compared to the baseline metric by a set date.  For Higg FEM, reduction targets may be normalized to the production volume metric (selected in Site Info section: Production volue unit).A normalized target shows you when progress is real, rather than being a result of business changes such as reductions in production leading to water use reduction.  An example of a normalized target is specific freshwater withdrawal, defined as liters of freshwater used for the production of one kilogram of sellable product (l/kg). 

Targets can be long-term or short-term (short term = less than 5 years, long term = more than 5 years). Once set, progress should be reviewed at least quarterly to ensure adjustments are made as needed to stay on track to realize success.  

Technical Guidance:

We recommend that you set normalized targets such as “reduce total water use by 30% by 2020”. For Higg FEM, reduction targets may be normalized to the production volume metric (selected in Site Info section: Production volume unit). This is because normalized metrics show real improvement rather than reductions from business changes such as reduced production. For example, if your baseline was “80 m3 per 10,000 fabric meters in 2016” then a good normalized target might be: “Reduce total water use by 30% per fabric meter by 2020”.

  • First, understand what a target is: A formal target here refers to a quantified performance requirement of the site’s annual water use of a particular water source. A formal target must:
    • include a definite start date (i.e., "baseline") of target, the measurement unit, and the normalized baseline consumption (i.e. m3/year at 2010 baseline)
    • include an end date of the target, meaning the intended completion of the required reductions; and
    • include an exact reduction quantity, expressed as a number (e.g. reduce by 1 million m3) or a percentage (e.g. reduce by 5%).
    • be relevant to reducing the site’s water use (e.g. focuses on the most significant water uses at the site)
  • Second, enter your factory’s targets into the table: For each target, state the following. For examples:
    • Select source targeted to be improved (select one): g. Municipal water
    • What is your target for change in water use from this source? The percentage reductions against your water use baseline. For example, if your base year is 2015 and you wrote reduction target as “-10%”, it means achieving 10% reductions in municipal water use by 2020 against your 2015 baseline
    • Is this a normalized or absolute target? Normalized target (It is recommended to set a normalized water reduction target)
    • Describe the measures planned to achieve this target: How you will achieve this target, for example, to reuse process water for boiler feed

Management review of the water reduction targets, including review of performance against water use targets, has to be conducted at least quarterly to drive continuous improvement. 

How this will be verified:

  • Yes
    • Documentation required
      • Documentation of the target(s) in place to reduce the water withdrawal
      • How the target(s) was calculated into a percent
      • Target communicated to the relevant employees and linked to the major water usage of the facility identified in question 3.
        • Communication methods may include: Meeting, bulletin board posting, newsletter release, any other form of written communication to employees which are involved with the tasks as they relate to energy usage in the facility.
        • Note: If targets are newly established, the review structure and responsibility delegation must already be in place.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management actively promotes or endorses proactive water conservation
    • Management is driving continuous improvement and reviewing water reduction targets on an annual basis
    • Water consumption data is made available to relevant internal and/or external stakeholders in order to drive accountability for achieving targets 
  • Partial Yes -
    • Same requirements as for "Yes" answer but for sources (or one source) totaling 79% or less of water use (this data is found in the % contribution calculation in question 1). 

5. Does your facility have an implementation plan to improve water use?

Please upload a copy of the implementation plan.

Suggested uploads: Please upload the water use reduction plan showing specific actions designed to achieve targeted reductions in water consumption.

Answer Yes if you have an implementation plan in place that demonstrates you are taking action to achieve your targeted reductions.  

Answer Partial Yes if you have a plan but have not started on all action items.

What is the intent of the question?

Target-setting is an important step in systematically managing water use, but your site must take action to make reductions in order to improve. Having an implementation plan demonstrates the action you are taking to achieve your targeted reductions. Some facilities may have an implementation plan without having set targets. Management commitment, employee awareness, and participation are needed to ensure improvement opportunities can be identified, solutions can be proposed, and changes can be made using capital or expense dollars if necessary to successfully implement proposed solutions.  Often this can involve third party consultation, literature and technology research, design firms, and pilot testing among many other potential paths toward installation of solutions.  All activity related to meeting targets should be part of an implementation plan to ensure organized and coordinated progress steps take place from the start. 

Technical Guidance:

A business process to account for communication and approval paths for water conservation projects should be documented and formalized by the facility.

Steps for action should include:

  1. Identification of water saving opportunities
  2. Evaluate water saving alternatives, investment and return on investment (ROI)
  3. Approve funds for chosen solution
  4. Implement the solution and track reductions
  5. Conduct regular review on the action plan to check progress

Water savings opportunities can be identified by individual employees, water audits, and water balances to name a few. Some simple saving alternatives are related to maintenance such as fixing leaks. Other saving alternatives may be more complex requiring changes to process or replacement of equipment/chemicals such as:

  • Process and recipe optimization
  • Checking the optimum process conditions and fastness requirements
  • Achieving higher right-first-time
  • Use of chemicals which can improve the wash-off behavior
  • Combination of processes: possibility of use of dyes and chemicals in same bath for two stages
  • Possibility of use of penultimate rinse or wash water for other processes 

Cost is typically of highest concern so a facility should be able to evaluate return on investment scenarios since improvements may cost capital but will reduce the cost of water use, and may also include energy and chemical savings. Once the solution is chosen the facility needs to schedule and support implementation. This can be as simple as changing valves or as complex as having a third party perform design build contracts. Ultimately this question is looking for the framework around how the facility pursues action on sustainable innovations.

Your implementation plan may include any actions that reduce water consumption. Water Saving Measures include:

  • Collecting and reusing condensate
  • Collecting and reusing cooling water
  • Recycling and reusing water by more than 80% by employing Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) water treatment technologies.
  • Collecting and reusing process or rinsing water (at least 30% recommend)
  • Using low liquor dyeing machines
  • Showing liquor ratio in each individual process recipe
  • Using batch rinsing instead of continuous flow washes
  • Automatic dispenser system for dyes and auxiliaries (chemical including salt) 

Best Practice recommendations include:

  • Dye batch scheduling to reduce equipment cleaning/rinsing (group similar colors on dye machines)
  • Dye fixation ratio optimization for fewer rinse cycles less pigment in effluent
  • Improved chemicals to reduce water usage
  • Modern water saving equipment installed.
  • Flow meters monitor water use by process
  • Employee awareness water conservation
  • Fixing leaks (wasteful practices)

Where to go for more info:

How this will be verified:

  • Yes
    • Documentation required
      • Water reduction plan listing specific projects, target reductions, dates, and progress that covers 80% or more of total energy use and/or
      • Water audit or assessment done by external party identifying water reduction opportunities and implementation dates
    • Interview observations
      • Management can articulate the plan including projects being implemented, their completion status, and their associated benefits
      • Management actively promotes or endorses proactive water conservation
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Projects identified in the plan that are completed or in progress
      • Take pictures of any equipment or processes relate to the plan
  • Partial Yes
    • Same requirements as for "Yes" answer but for sources (or one source) totaling 50-79% of total water use

Templates to Create: download a sample implementation plan template for small/medium Tier 2 factories here 

6. Has your facility reduced water withdrawal, compared with your baseline? Select all water sources that have been reduced.

·       Source

·       Select baseline year

·       Indicate your facility’s change in water use from this source (quantity and unit of measure)

·       Describe the strategies used to achieve this improvement  

Upload: Evidence of normalized or absolute reduction of annual water use for at least one primary water sources (e.g., mains, surface water, groundwater, recycled water etc.) that is attributable to measures taken by the site. Water tracking reports showing reductions of the normalized water withdrawal in the last calendar year Description of how the actions that were taken by the facility to drive improvement.

 

You will receive full points if you made reductions for water sources that make up 80% or more of your total water use.

You will receive partial points if you made reductions for water sources that make up 50-79% or more of your total water use. This is to reward you for reducing your greatest sources of water withdrawal which will maximize environmental impact.

Select No if you have no reductions or are unable to state what your reductions are for a source as your answer option for that source. 

If you have entered a baseline for each of your sources, your reductions will be autocalculated below. If you have not entered a baseline, you have the option to manually enter your reductions below.

What is the intent of the question?

Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement. Success is the result of extensive work involved in tracking, setting targets, and performing to implementation plans to meet targets.  This question provides an opportunity to display water conservation success for the most recent year.  By tracking success over the previous year, a facility proves through results the commitment made towards sustainability.     

This is your opportunity to demonstrate impact reduction from your hard work to track, set targets and create an action plan. Use this question to share what you have accomplished in the last year.

Technical Guidance:

  1. List % improvement achieved in the last calendar year: “Per unit groundwater use was reduced by 2% (0.17 m3 by unit). [Metering records log book 2010-2012, EMS targets progress review 2012]” This includes:
  • List of water reduction achievement according to:
    • t which sources of water were reduced
    • he absolute or normalized amount of water that was reduced
    • the metric for normalization (for normalize reduction)
  • Reference to relevant documentation.
  1. Please describe the plans/strategies used to achieve these improvement. Example: “Condensate from laundry is captured and reused as feed-in water for boiler. [EMS manual p.124-128].”  This includes:
  • List of water reduction achievement according to:
    • the location where water is captured for recycling
    • the location where recycled water is used
  • Reference to relevant documentation.

NOTE: This is NOT scoring the actual % of improvement because a facility may be working on the last 5-10% of water efficiency which is hard to make up. We don't want to falsely reward beginners and give fewer points to leaders.

How this will be verified:

  • Expectations for Yes
    • Documentation required
      • Water tracking reports and consumption records showing reductions from water sources that make up more than 80% of your total water use
      • Evidence of new equipment purchases or efficiency improvements that demonstrate that water reductions weren't made soley from a decline in production
    • Interview observations
      • Management are proactively driving continuous improvement reviewing water consumption reduction targets on an annual basis
      • Management can describe how the actions that were taken by the facility to drive improvement.
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Progress against the components of the project plan (e.g. observation of the equipment/processes installed to reduce the water withdrawal)
      • Rebates received from water efficiency projects (if applicable)
      • Awards or certificates for water efficiency achievements 
  • Partial Yes
    • Same requirements as for "yes" above but for water sources (or one source) that make up 50- 79% of your total water use

Water use - Level 3 

7. Has your facility implemented a water balance or another analysis to evaluate the traceability of water intake vs. usage (i.e. which processes) and output (i.e. to wastewater treatment plant)?

Suggested uploads: Water Balance or equivalent

Upload the methodology for analyzing the water balance.

·      How was the water balance analysis conducted

Answer Yes if your facility has fully implemented a water balance to fully understand the traceability of water intake vs. usage and outputs in the facility. A complete water balance must include the below information.

Answer Partial Yes if you have completed a partial water balance, but have an action plan to complete all requirements.

Includes:

  • The incoming water in the facility: amount and water sources
  • The quantity of water used during the production process
  • The quantity of water recycled/reused in the facility
  • The quality of wastewater generated
  • The wastewater generated in the facility
  • The volume of water discharged after the own treatment
  • The frequency which the water balance is updated

What is the intent of the question?

The creation of a full-facility water balance allows facilities to identify unaccounted-for water and provide insight into areas with efficiency improvement opportunities.  A water balance, along with historical water use and cost of water, will help build a facility understand the overall water use and cost savings opportunities to the facility.

Technical Guidance:

A method that allows performance over time visibility is a water balance.  A water balance allows a facility to identify water use and also potential losses through leaks and evaporation since it also looks at wastewater for a given area / tool / process.  Historical water use along with cost can build trends that allow a facility to visualize performance over time from site level down to an individual process step.  Limiting factors in creating a water balance are meters/estimates and logs of data, which need to be maintained.  Electronic data systems can be implemented to perform this automatically and on demand, which eliminates time and effort otherwise taken by performing a water audit.

Basic water balance takes into account the facility property boundary and identifies all water coming into the facility from external sources (includes on-site wells), and all water leaving the facility from wastewater and sewer discharges.  In an ideal environment there are no losses so influent – effluent = 0.  

However, in the practical situation, difference between influent and effluent can hardly be zero. Difference is possibly result from leakage, evaporation (intended or unintended), error of measurement (1-10%), etc. Difference less than 15% of total water use is normal. Nevertheless, difference greater than 25% of total water use is usually indicative of a larger problem and sources of water loss should be identified through additional investigation. This can often uncover leaks and poor performing equipment as an example. 

More advanced water balances move the boundary being looked at from a facility property to a building boundary, manufacturing process boundary, or even a tool/equipment specific boundary.  What is going in the tool and coming out of the tool?  This more advanced balance is limited only by metering and estimate points available for use but allows greater measurement of water use within a facility, which in turn allows greater control of those uses.

  • Identify and analyze how water is used in your entire facility analysis must be carried out in the facility to evaluate/understand the traceability of water intake vs. Usage (i.e. which processes) and output (i.e. to ETP). A good methodology would be creating a water balance.  A water balance can be basic or advanced depending on needs.
  • The creation of a facility water balance allows facilities to identify unaccounted-for water and provide insight into areas with efficiency improvement opportunities.  A water balance, along with historical water use and cost of water, will help build a facility understand the overall water use and savings opportunities to the facility.
  • A basic water balance is an equation used to describe flow of water into and out of the facility.  The total metered influents would equal the total of all effluents in an ideal environment (influent = effluent).  When they are not equal, there are water losses or consumed: influent – effluent = water losses.  Some losses, such as evaporation, are part of normal manufacturing operations.

Here is an example of a basic water balance that demonstrates your inflow vs. outflow of water in your factory:

Screenshot_2017-11-11_12.00.24.png

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212371716300221

  • Differences greater than 15% represent discrepancies beyond the error of most meters and calculation and suggest the existent of leak or other potential issue. (typically, a calculated water loss of 15%is a good balance, greater than 15% is poor balance and may need to be redone to confirm accuracy.  A water loss balance of 0 or negative is usually an error.)
  • A more advanced water balance where each area, building, process, or even equipment has all influents and effluents metered allow a more detailed water balance to be performed.  This can show excessive water use in specific areas or buildings etc. For more targeted efficiency improvement.
  • The more frequently a water balance is reviewed, the greater understanding one can have on facility water use and variability.  A business needs to balance level of effort with potential value gained.  Monthly water balance is recommended as it allows understanding of seasonal trends and variability in water use and typically coincides with most water use billing frequency. 

Glossary:

  • Water Balance: A basic water balance is an equation used to describe flow of water into and out of the facility.  The total metered influents would equal to the total of all effluents and water losses.  

See website for sample - http://waterplanner.gemi.org/calc-waterbalance.asp

Where to go for more info:

 How this will be verified:

  • Expectations for Yes
    • Documentation required
      • The facility has fully implemented a water balance or is able to demonstrate transparently another type of method for conducting analysis to fully understand the traceability of water intake vs. usage and outputs in the facility
      • This report should include the following information:
        • The incoming water in the facility: amount and water sources.
        • The quantity of water used during the production process
        • The quantity of water recycled/reused in the facility
        • The quality of wastewater generated
        • The wastewater generated in the facility
        • The volume of water discharged after the own treatment
        • The frequency which the water balance is updated
      • Interview questions to ask
        • How frequently is the water balance reviewed?
        • What have you learned from the water balance?
        • Were there losses? How big? How were they explained?
      • Inspection - things to physically look for
        • Review water pipeline drawing/diagram/flowchart, check if the factory is knowledgeable regarding their water usage (input throughout output)
        • Sub metering and proper record keeping of water use

 

 

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.