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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  07 May 2012

WATER MANAGEMENT: How Food Sector Can Gain Better Control

 



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KEY players in the local food industry are urged to implement strict water saving measures in order to address the country’s impending water deficit that is threatening food security and produce all around the country.

This is according to Gareth Lloyd-Jones, managing director of Ecowize - a leading hygiene and sanitation company servicing the food sector, who says that it is crucial for food producers and manufacturers to introduce elements of strict control through implementations of water saving disciplines.

In a report compiled by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) released last year, it was said that there have been repeated warnings that South Africa faces a water supply crisis. Furthermore the report stated that South Africa’s freshwater resources will be fully depleted by 2030 and unable to meet the needs of people, industry and its neighbours if people continue to exploit their water resources by following a ‘business as usual’ approach.

This report highlights the critical need for food producers and manufacturers to realise the magnitude of this crisis and take responsibility and make concerted efforts to prevent water wastage often caused by, pipe bursts and water leaks and unscheduled use of water,” says Lloyd-Jones.

He says that benchmarking linking the right amount of water required for the desired amount without any going to waste is one way which involves balancing three important variables. These include the value, the pressure and the temperature of the water.

These variables need to be balanced and measured on a periodic basis as this determines the problem. One way of doing this is by measuring where water pressures are fluctuating as this will expose inconsistencies or leaks. Furthermore, Lloyd-Jones says that by conducting thorough root cause analysis, farmers will be able to determine the cause of the problem and eliminate chances of it reoccurring.

In order to avoid unscheduled use of water, food producers and manufacturers need to introduce strict elements of control that sets specific times that the hose can be used. They can also use specially designed couplings that are manufactured to protect the hose against leaks,” he says.

Other simple and cost-effective water-saving disciplines include having a water recycling system in place whereby used water is drained through a filtration process to rid all solids and then put through a chemical intervention to make it suitable and fit to use back into plant facilities. He says that this water can then be used to wash areas down such as drive ways.

Lloyd-Jones says food producers and manufacturers will also be able to save enormous amounts of water by providing staff with efficient water saving training that help to develop their skills and knowledge in order to enable them to identify the cause of water waste and ways solve such problems.

For best results and in order to ensure that staff make a concerted effort, farmers can implement water saving incentives by the likes of performance pay systems, driven by how well staff obeys the water saving disciplines,” says Lloyd-Jones.


 
 
 
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