According to the EPA, there are eight sectors of industry that are considered high impact water users. These are: food and agriculture, electric power and energy, metals and mining, apparel, high-tech and electronics, beverage, biotech and pharmaceuticals, and forest products. These industries need water — and a lot of it — to bring products from concept to completion. Because water consumption is so high within these industries, IoT water metering should be a high priority for facilities wanting to curb unnecessary water use. Identifying water savings opportunities is especially important in geographic areas where water is not plentiful. Additionally, water metering can help cut costs.
The EPA has determined four areas where these industries use the most water: raw material production, suppliers, direct operations, and product use/end of life.
Food and Agricultural
Irrigation, washing, and sanitation are major contributors to the high volume of water used in the food and agricultural industry. Heating and cooling, employee use, and restrooms are also contributors.
Electric Power and Energy
65 percent of U.S. electricity comes from power generators that need cooling with water. And thermoelectric plants boil water to produce steam for generating electricity.
Metals and Mining
A tremendous amount of water is used in mining for mineral processing, sludge transport, and employees’ needs.
In these settings, water is used 1) as a solvent for dyes and chemicals, 2) as a medium for transferring dyes and chemicals to fabric, and 3) to wash and rinse apparel in the factory (sometimes this step occurs before customer purchase).
High-Tech and Electronics
Uses of water in this industry include fume scrubbers, cooling systems, water purification, landscaping, and restrooms.
Beverage facilities use most of their water intake in product preparation.
Biotech and Pharmaceuticals
Much of the water used in this industry is for cleaning processing equipment.
Water is used for the growth of trees and pulp production.
The industries and four areas in the table above present opportunities to use water sensors for monitoring purposes. For instance, according to the above EPA report, cleaning process equipment in many food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies can account for as much as 50 to 70 percent of a facility’s total water use, and represents a substantial opportunity to save water.
Could your organization improve its water efficiency? Datablaze offers custom IoT sensor kits and basic refrigeration monitoring kits designed to help prevent water waste and use water more efficiently. Contact us for a demo or for more information.