Before performing a water balance map, you might consider starting with a water gemba walk. It is a lean approach in which employees and managers walk the factory floor together to observe and inventory inefficiencies related to water use. These events enable a team to quickly locate “low-hanging fruit” that save water at a small cost.
Below are some examples of how water gemba walks can be effective
Perform the following steps to conduct a water gemba walk:
- Identify all water-consuming equipment, high-use areas, and meter locations.
- Note all water losses, evaporative losses, and water incorporated in product; excessive water pressure; and leaks.
- Observe shift clean-ups and process changeovers.
- Quantify water low rates and usage.
- Evaluate water quality used in each process step, minimum water quality needs for each process, and quality of wastewater discharged
Where should you focus your attention on the gemba walk? Check out this list of areas from the EPA Lean and Water Toolkit
Want to learn more about Water Walks? Watch a specific video about Water Walks, or take our WASTE Walks course, which goes into more details about preparing for a WASTE walk, running the event, combining ideas together, and deciding on the top 3 ideas to pursue.