Use water responsibly and sustainably…Or our pipeline will become a pipedream!
Updated: Aug 16
Forget all that you have read about taps that drip and pipes that leak and why you should fix the plumbing to save water. Pales into insignificance when we come across cases of extreme water usage and wastage in verticals we never did suspect to be the culprit.
Here we go with five:
Fashion Industry: It takes 7,000 litres of water to produce one pair of jeans, the same amount one individual drinks in 5-6 years. A T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water, enough to quench a person’s thirst for almost 3 years.
Plastic Bottles: 1.4 gallons of water required to produce a single-use water or soda bottle and we know the number of single-use bottles being used daily world over.
Agriculture: Yes, we can’t do without food, but we must find ways to reduce water consumption in this critical vertical. The truth is 70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture – for irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide application, crop cooling, and frost control.
Energy industry: The world’s energy production consumes approximately 52 billion cubic meters of freshwater each year, because power plants (fossil-powered and nuclear) consume water during cooling processes.
Summary of our findings? Unknown, unseen and unfazed, we are using millions of litres of water to ensure our daily essentials such as food and electricity, and for stepping out in style. This can’t go on… and slogans such as water is precious, make every drop count, may give us solace but not the savings that we need, because the problem has to be addressed by the gallon and not even litres.
Reducing the water footprint: Let’s look at the frugality that we need to inculcate into our daily life as individuals. We will also review how water-related industries are rising to the occasion, rather emergency.
First and foremost, as individuals and as retail or small and medium businesses, we must make efforts to reduce our water footprint by addressing areas of direct water consumption (indirect refers to industrial usage of water, and these are being addressed by industry bodies, regulators and lawmakers).
Make a conscious effort to cut down the water you use for bathing, shaving and for watering plants or washing your vehicle. Install water-saving toilets and shower heads, and do not dispose medicines, paints or other pollutants down the sink.
The cumulative effect of individual savings will begin to make a significant difference – by allowing nature to refresh water bodies, by cutting down energy consumption (all the water we use is pumped by a motor somewhere) and by placing less stress on city sewage systems.
Making a difference to water usage across industries: At Advanced Watertek, a company engaged in the business of water filtration, purification and recycling, we take our work very seriously, knowing that very much like an individual, we too can make a difference to the world’s water footprint. As an enterprise with a track record of over 35 years, we have installed thousands of water treatment system in more than 50 countries.
Our systems are fitted onboard marine vessels to desalinate sea water. On land, we have larger treatment plants that can serve the needs of a building, an entire neighbourhood or municipality. We also provide turnkey water treatment solutions to diverse industries which include Oil & Gas, F&B, Hospitality, Pharma and Mining.
Energy Recovery Devices: A key feature of our desalination plants is the deployment of sustainable technology for optimized power usage. Our systems incorporate Energy Recovery Devices (ERDs) which utilize energy inherent in the process of water treatment, thereby reducing power consumption.
We had the privilege of working with the Emirate of Fujairah to achieve 40% reduction in energy consumption by introducing an Energy Recovery Turbine in the existing Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) System.
The ERD helped to recover more than 80% of the wasted high pressure brine energy, reduce the size of the high-pressure pump, and lower motor electrical consumption. The ultimate result was clean water for gardens along the coastline with every treated gallon delivered in an eco-friendly manner.
We suggest that if you are already using an industrial RO System, consider installing an energy recovery device to divert wasted energy back to the process. At home or office, maintain your RO system to avoid leakage and to cut down higher energy consumption caused by faulty components.
A prophecy that must never come true: As citizens, corporates and local bodies, we must continue to find more ways to produce water sustainably and use it more responsibly, actions which will help bestow Nature’s most precious gift to the next generation. If not, our water pipelines may turn into a pipedream and the future may echo with a prophecy or foreboding first forecast in verse by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”