As wildfires, heatwaves and droughts become more common and more deadly around the globe, everyone is starting to take climate change more seriously. Until recently, many companies would “talk the talk” and promote their organization’s green initiatives to fool the consumer, but that is no longer the case. The reality of climate change, along with other factors, are driving companies to “walk the talk” and aggressively improve sustainability efforts as part of their corporate ESG strategy.
There are many ways for companies to improve sustainability. One approach is to reduce energy consumption and invest in renewable energy sources. Companies that operate in regulated industries must manage their water consumption and wastewater discharge; solid and hazardous waste treatment and disposal as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Compliance is critical to the success of the company and failure can result in punitive fines, expensive litigation and irreparable harm to the company’s brand.
Water is Essential to Humanity
It is impossible to overstate how important clean water is to human health, the environment and society in general. Humanity is just starting to realize that fresh water is a finite and fragile resource. Over two-thirds of water withdrawals are used in the agricultural industry for irrigation and rearing livestock. Manufacturing and power generation are the next industries that use the most water. Global Water demand is projected to increase by 55% in the first half of the 21st century. Increasing demand and increasing global temperatures are likely to cause more frequent and more severe droughts over the next 50 years.
Growing populations, increasing food demands, climate change and the threat of droughts has forced many governments to develop regulations and water quality standards across the entire water cycle; from water abstraction and pre-treatment through its controlled use in industry and how it is treated post-use as wastewater and eventually returned to the environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces dozens of federal water laws, everything from the critical Clean Water Act (CWA) to more targeted regulations for fracking, coal mining, groundwater, stormwater and wastewater. Similar regulations and standards are enforced in the EU and much of Asia.
Industrial Water Management Saves Money and the Environment
Large amounts of water are used for a wide range of industrial applications, including fabricating, processing, washing, cooling (manufacturing & power generation) and even transporting a product. Specific industries that use large amounts of water include pulp and paper, vehicle manufacturing and oil and gas, with the heaviest user being the chemical industry. Industries that use large amounts of water and produce large amounts of wastewater are the most regulated.
As industrial water use becomes more regulated, companies are being pressured to reduce, reuse and recycle to increase their water efficiency and decrease the quantity of wastewater generated. Water management systems collect important data about your organization’s water use and wastewater generation to simplify analysis and make it easier to improve water-related processes. The benefits of a water management system include:
- Reduce water-related costs – More efficient water utilization and reduced generation of wastewater decreases water bills and sewer costs.
- Stay compliant – Avoid compliance fines and litigation by complying with all government and industry regulations while working to protect the environment.
- Reduced energy consumption – Increasing water efficiency and lowering the amount used means lower electricity costs for heating, cooling and pumping.
- Intelligent use of wastewater – Wastewater can be reused by the business that generates it or recycled (treated) for use by other industries.
The value proposition of a water management system is simple; you must be able to measure something if you want to improve it. Many companies are pursuing hardware and software technology solutions to help them capture all the critical data related to water use and wastewater production.
Water Quality Management Software Makes Everything Easier
Water Quality Management software centralizes, manages and simplifies all global water quality related compliance obligations. It reduces the risk of violations and dangerous discharges that threaten your operations or the surrounding environment. Intelex Water Quality Management delivers several key features:
- Centralize Permit Limits – Simplify your water permit activities and ensure process consistency and data integrity by storing all permit related information in one central, web-based location.
- Manage Sampling Activities and Maintain Chain of Custody – Assign and schedule workers for sample collection, automatically notify the assignee of an upcoming task and configure escalations if the task isn’t completed.
- Boost Visibility into Performance – Analyze results over time to understand your organizations performance against external permit requirements and internal targets.
- Easily Create Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) – Automatically pull and populate the right data into the right forms to streamline region-specific water quality reporting.
Companies that operate in regulated industries or those that are interested in improving how they manage water and wastewater both benefit from water management. Learn more about Intelex Water Quality Management software can save your company money while streamlining regulatory compliance and supporting corporate sustainability goals.