In July of last year we conducted a survey of our customers. As part of that survey we asked some questions designed to see how much people knew about the water usage at their place of work. Based on the results of the survey we found that many of our customers didn’t know what their water usage was at their facility. Almost 25% of customers who took the survey didn’t know the total annual water usage. More importantly, 20% of upper management didn’t know their total annual water usage. This number is important because it affects all facets of your business.
Why is water usage so important? Well, if for no other reason, water is the world’s most precious resource that needs to be used responsibly. In addition, water is a critical component of every business and can have a significant impact on your bottom line. For many businesses, water is used as part of the manufacturing process. In other businesses, water is a critical piece of the heating and cooling processes. In those facilities, the utility water usage can be 80+ percent of the entire usage at the facility. Excessive water use in these processes can be an indicator of problems within those processes. These problems can lead to product loss, decreased quality, down time, and higher energy usage among others. Identifying excessive water usage can help you find these issues faster and respond before they become larger issues.
However, knowing your water usage alone may not give you the entire picture. Often water usage is directly linked to other things like weather and production. Your water use may increase by 30% from one day to the next. However, if the temperatures went from 70 to 90 degrees, 30% could be a good number. Comparing your water use to other, related, information allows you to see through the nature variability of your use and identify when a change in water use needs to be investigated. This is where blueVUE, Watertech's new cutting edge technology, can make a huge impact. blueVUE enables you to see every aspect of your company's water consumption by the hour so you can react to system changes. Click here to lean more about blueVUE.
Also, it is important to know the whole cost of your water usage. True, the largest component of your water bill are the rates charged by your water provider. However, many times there are other costs tied directly to water use. For example, additives used to prevent scale and corrosion in water piping are often fed based on water usage. The more additives used, the greater the cost of that water. It is important to look throughout your facility to find those costs that are directly related to your water usage so that you can get an understanding of your true cost of water.
We can also look at this from a broader prospective. If you don’t understand your water usage, how can the water source you are using sustain your business in the long run? The more efficient you can be, the longer this resource will last. It’s a continuous cycle, we need water to create energy and we need energy to transport water. Their dependence on each other—and their contribution to your bottom-line profitability—quite simply cannot be underestimated.