Water

Why are we concerned about water?

  • Globally, water will be one of the most scarce resources
  • Poor water quality can lead to disease and illness
  • Energy is used to heat, cool, pump, filter, cleanse, treat, monitor and process water back to original or acceptable state
  • Costs involved to obtain water from utility company
  • Costs involved to dump back into sewer/drain system
  • Business risks from suppliers running out, or increased regulations, political unrest and scarcity

One major concern about water is how much we use. There are tools that can help companies and organizations reduce and conserve water, such as Water Gemba Walks, Water Balance Maps, and adding water usage to value stream maps (VSM).

Here are some additional resources for companies looking to save money on water

 

There are also concerns about water being polluted

  • Toxic chemicals
    • Pesticides, petroleum products, synthetic chemicals
      • household products like antibiotics, detergents, disinfectants, solvents, perfumes
    • Metals
      • arsenic, lead, copper, mercury, etc
  • Sediment
    • soil run-off from erosion
  • Thermal pollution
    • water temperature changes
  • Nutrient pollution
  • Pathogens and waterborne diseases
    • Pathogen viruses, protists, and bacteria from human and animal waste
      • Indications of pollution can be determined based upon observations of microorganisms present in the water (more low tolerant organisms present, the better)

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