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Water is essential to manufacturers – whether for powering complex steam processes or use in simple domestic purposes.  It is also a resource that has come under increasing risk in recent years, making it more imperative to reduce water waste. Recognizing this, more manufacturers are expanding their sustainability efforts to include water efficiency and conservation.

There are many challenges to implementing water efficiency measures at a manufacturing facility, such as poor ROIs on water efficiency projects and insufficient data on water use within the facility. However, understanding the true costs of water and assessing water efficiency opportunities can lead to substantial water and energy savings. Starting with basic good housekeeping practices and progressing to more advanced conservation strategies can help to establish a robust water management program.

Top Water Efficiency Measures

  1. Conduct a water balance
  2. Identify and fix leaks
  3. Consider water efficiency in the design and procurement of new systems
  4. Review equipment specifications and adjust water use accordingly
  5. Eliminate once-through-uses where possible, such as for cooling or cleaning

Explore the Water Savings Network page for industrial partners to learn how DOE is helping partners to track water use intensity improvements and share successful strategies and solutions. Learn more by reading a Better Plants report, DEVELOPING A CORPORATE WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR MANUFACTURERS, and the WATER INFO CARD. Explore additional resources specific to Better Plants partners and connect with the water-efficiency and water-system subject matter expert below.


Subject Matter Expert - Prakash Rao

Dr. Prakash Rao is a Principal Scientific Engineering Associate within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Prakash conducts research and analysis into the potential for reducing the energy consumption and water use impacts of the U.S. manufacturing sector while maintaining its productivity. To this end, he assists in the development of related technical assistance and deployment activities. This includes analysis of manufacturing water use characteristics and conservation strategies, tools (Navigator) and programs (SEP and 50001 Ready) to increase the uptake of ISO 50001 in the U.S., tools to support advanced measurement and verification techniques (EnPI Lite), and analysis of motor system energy consumption and efficiency potential.  Dr. Rao received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

You can reach Prakash with water-related questions at