8 June, 2017
Free water audit to help ensure your supply
is becoming the new norm in South Africa and
many other African countries, threatening the
water supply on which industry, as well as
every community, depends.
The good news is that a host of new tools are
becoming available to help businesses ensure
that their taps don't run dry. These include a
free and confidential water assessment offered
by the Water Efficiency Project of the
National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC), a
project of the South African Department of
Trade and Industry.
This assessment comes with a cost-benefit
analysis, and experience shows that improved
water efficiency often helps improve a
company's bottom line, says Kevin Cilliers, a
spokesperson for the water project.
The NCPC's mission is to drive cleaner and
resource-efficient production, while helping
businesses to operate in a more efficient,
sustainable and competitive manner. The
organisation also offers subsidised energy,
materials and waste assessments.
The water assessments are the newest, and were
first offered at the start of this year. They
help companies look at where and why they are
using water; opportunities to reduce usage;
low and no-cost interventions, and finally
more capital-intensive solutions.
Implementation is not mandatory, although it
is of course recommended, and subsequent
training is also offered, to build a company's
Many companies, some of them very large, have
benefited from the water audits, says Kevin.
In just one example, water was a "massive
risk" for a metal product manufacturer, whose
supply once dried up for several days. This
company is now able to operate "off-grid",
supplying its own water in emergencies.
Another measure for ensuring your water supply
is the comprehensive "toolbox", offered by the
United Nations Global Compact, which outlines
a series of steps to take along with a wealth
of information (www.ceowatermandate.org/toolbox/discover-next-steps).
Dolphin Bay has taken huge strides in our
efforts to reduce our reliance on the
municipal water supply. We harvest almost all
the water we need for manufacturing at our
Mossel Bay factory, and reuse all the washing
and rinsing water at our Sabie factory.
We also monitor our water usage continuously.
Our staff members report on the water usage in
their departments at our weekly meetings,
helping to make us more conscious of how much
water our business is using. "If there are
great fluctuations, we examine whether this is
due to increases in production, or
inefficiencies," says Bertus.
"In the past, water was cheap and the supply
plentiful, so we used it without thinking. The
cost of water was not built into the final
cost of a product. However, this is the wrong
Paraphrasing a speaker at a National Business
Event focusing on water last year, he
concluded: "Water does not have a cost until
we do not have it. At that point, it becomes
To find out more about the free water
assessments, contact your Dolphin Bay
Source: Dolphin Bay Chemicals