Once you have completed your water balance and compared your water use against other businesses, you should look at how you can reduce your water use and waste production. For example, you can do this by:
- setting targets to reduce water use
- raising staff awareness
- improving maintenance
- reviewing processes
You should have an action plan that includes processes and procedures for implementing improvements. Many of these may involve little or no cost, eg ensuring that staff turn off taps after use. Others may involve some investment but deliver greater, longer-term savings, eg water efficient equipment and technologies. It is important you monitor the implementation and results of your plan, and you should be able to adapt your plan if circumstances change.
You should review your water balance with senior managers and look particularly at areas where use and costs are highest. Look at whether you can change your processes or systems to make savings. Consider how easy it is to modify manufacturing techniques or products to reduce water use or effluent production.
You might be able to claim a 100 per cent first year tax allowance on water-efficient equipment using the government's Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme.
Although your water balance should enable you to make immediate savings, you should look for more savings into the future. You can achieve this through a process of continual improvement by:
- regularly monitoring processes and systems to ensure your information is still accurate
- recording costs and use by regularly reading meters
- gathering more detailed information if you see the need to do so
- constantly looking at ways of improving both the speed and quality of the data you gather
- updating your water balance charts and diagrams regularly, and conducting periodic reviews
As you become more familiar with the process, your water balance will become more accurate. This will point you towards more areas where water use can be reduced and savings achieved.
You should also benchmark your water use regularly to ensure that your business is keeping up with similar organisations.