Lessening industrial water usage

Lessening industrial water usage

THE National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) has announced the release of a series of industrial water efficiency guides and tools, available freely on their website. The tools have been developed and shared for use by any industry or organisation that seeks to reduce water consumption in their operations, and learn practical skills to save on water bills.

The NCPC-SA, which is an industry support programme hosted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), will be introducing the tools to industry at an online workshop on 17 February 2022.

“We intend to simplify the implementation of water efficiency for the industry whilst securing this scarce resource for the future and ultimately help companies realise savings through reduced usage,” explains Lindani Ncwane, Project Manager leading the industrial water efficiency project at the NCPC-SA.

The water efficiency best practice guide and the industrial water efficiency assessment guide has been developed in collaboration with the CSIR Water Centre and currently available for download and application on the NCPC-SA website at no cost to users. “While these tools were developed with a focus on the agro-processing sector, they can be used across other industries to reduce effluent water and save costs,” said Ncwane.

A further tool that will be added to those being launched in February is a monitoring and metering guide that was developed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The industrial water work of the NCPC-SA

Between 2013 and 2018, the NCPC-SA conducted 92 industrial water efficiency assessments in the agro-processing sector to stop water losses and promote operational change among other interventions. The sector is heavily dependent on water for its processes to produce end-products. Following a successful implementation, the NCPC-SA developed tools and best practice guides to help mitigate industrial water use challenges.

A rising need to implement Resource Efficient Cleaner Production (RECP) practices

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation in the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NWSMP) of October 2018, 61% of water resources are used in agricultural irrigation, 27% in households while other sectors account for about 10%.

The NCPC-SA has developed similar tools on Resource Efficient Cleaner Production (RECP) interventions including energy and material efficiency. Companies that have embraced the recommendations and the guidance from the tools have saved immensely, increased their competitive advantage and operate sustainably. “The effects of climate change are evident and cannot be ignored. As a country, we must conserve our existing resources and do our best to reverse the damage caused to the environment by promoting industrial resource efficiency,” Ncwane adds.

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