Industrial Water Efficiency: Solutions that benefit businesses, communities and our future workforce
Matt Domski, Waste Prevention Specialist, MnTAP
University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
Brian Davis, Ph.D., P.G. P.E., Senior Engineer, Metropolitan Council
Since 1984, MnTAP has developed strong partnerships with businesses, Minnesota communities and project sponsors to conserve resources, prevent pollution and reduce costs.
In the 35 years of the program, recommendations for water conservation have resulted in 800 million gallons of implemented water savings for industries across the State. Achieving this level of savings is the result of customized, site-based industrial technical assistance that helps facilities identify and launch implementation of process changes that conserve water. In recent years, MnTAP has been fortunate to leverage significant financial support from its primary water conservation sponsor, the Metropolitan Council Water Supply Planning division. This support has provided the foundation to advance industrial water efficiency throughout the Twin Cities metro.
Studying motivations and barriers that industries face when it comes to water conservation has helped MnTAP refine a process for assessing water efficiency opportunities. MnTAP technical staff and interns work closely with facility staff to map water use, establish maintenance programs that avoid water loss, identify opportunities to manage water use and modify process water use through cost-effective solutions.
Benefits resulting from these partnerships include: Businesses receive actionable, process driven water efficiency recommendations with a plan for implementation, Communities benefit from reduced water consumption, limiting stress on water supply infrastructure, and Students succeed in managing industrial water efficiency projects
that will inform their approach to process improvement throughout their careers. This triple win scenario drives continuing partner engagement.