Innovative water management strategies call for technologies to match

A quick look at the web site reveals an array of new initiatives and strategies from a diverse range of organisations aimed at safeguarding both the quantity and quality of water.

One thing that is clear is that there is a growing understanding of the urgent need to tackle water supply issues today before they escalate out of hand tomorrow.
Leading the way is the European Commission’s water efficiency blueprint, which calls for member states, including the UK, to step up their efforts in key areas such as pollution control and abstraction and to strike a better balance between supply and demand.

These same sentiments are repeated at an industry level, with the food and beverage industry in particular striving for improved water efficiency performance. As a major consumer of water, food and beverage companies are increasingly signing up to schemes to measure and reduce their usage. The Federation House Commitment (FHC), for example, aims to help reduce overall water usage across the Food and Drink sector by 20% by the year 2020. Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston have also all recently been awarded the Carbon Trust’s Water Standard, the world’s first international award aimed at getting businesses to measure, manage and reduce their water usage.

The Carbon Trust’s scheme also addresses the link between water wastage and energy, both in terms of consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Every drop lost, whether it be on an industrial site or across a water distribution network, needs to be replaced, consuming extra energy for treatment and pumping.

For this innovative thinking to have maximum impact, there needs to be an equal stride forward in technological innovation.

Where water is concerned, measurement is no longer just the responsibility of the major water operators, but any major user of water too. Whether it’s to trace leakage on site, reduce water consumption or ensure compliance with emissions legislation such as the Environmental Permitting Regulations, end users should make sure they are using the Best Available Techniques for the job.

Equipment manufacturers, ABB included, are facing a growing responsibility to not only provide technology, but also to inform the market about why it is needed. By keeping an eye both on current developments and on likely future changes, manufacturers can play a valuable role in providing the technologies needed to meet both today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

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