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Water: An Overlooked Essential Nutrient

Water: An Overlooked Essential Nutrient

1) An increasing number of industrial enterprises in developed countries implement efficient water consumption programs. Industrial ground and surface water utilization and the use of water taken from public supply networks have been reduced considerably, mainly in industrialized countries. More and more industrial enterprises are transferring to a rational use of water through the multiple use of water or closed production cycles. Water-saving reduces overall costs and saves energy at the same time (for example, energy saved from a reduced use of water pumps and a reduced amount of water that needs to be cleaned afterwards).

Water management plans should consider if groundwater can be substituted by surface water, and if the use of drinking water quality is necessary for different production processes(Foerch, 2007).

Domestic water consumption can be greatly reduced through individual technical measures, such as flow-limiting taps or water-stop flush buttons for toilets. Installation of individual meters (for a household) to monitor usage and the costs related to it is essential. Modern washing and dishwashing machines are significantly more water efficient than earlier models (down from 150 to less than 60 liters in 25 years, reaching less than 30 liters per washing cycle in Europe). Moreover, changing personal behavior could halve total water consumption; for instance, through the replacement of a seal from a dripping tap, and stopping the tap while brushing teeth. It is important to encourage end-users to install water-saving devices at the time of their investment, for example, when they build a house or factory(Foerch, 2007). End-users will only do so if they are aware of the water-saving options and the benefits in terms of cost savings. End-users would need to be encouraged to invest in water-efficient fittings through the amendment of by-laws and codes that regulate building practices. However, the best tool in developed countries for reducing water consumption and waste is to increase the price of water for a high standard product.

2) The closed water loop concept is a management tool within water demand management. At the scale of the household, neighborhood, community, industry, or institution, water can be managed as a closed loop. Water inputs of various qualities can be brought into the closed water loop for the various water applications where the water quality is matched with the intended application requirements. Every drop of water can be used at least twice before it is sent ...
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