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Sustainability framework a future plan

MAXIMISING water is a priority for local industries that are heavily reliant on this precious resource.

The spectre of increasing costs is driving some innovative ideas, including arrangements where companies may be able to sell their waste water to other businesses.

However, any solutions to water shortages need to be considered within a sustainability framework.

Conservation Council of WA coordinator Rachel Siewert said a lot of effort was going into recycling grey water.

“Desalination is extremely expensive and uses a lot of energy,” Ms Siewert said. “We’re saying to Government that this is all part of sustainability.

“It’s the same with power.”

Pitching the concept of sustainable water use to business in WA involves more than outlining the possible cost savings available, however.

“Just saving money is not necessarily a trigger, someone needs to go in there and go through the factory… and work with the staff,” Ms Siewert said.

This approach has proved to be very effective in getting the message out to individuals on another sustainability issue – public transport.

“To get households to change behaviour you have to go to them on a personal level, like the Government did with travel safe,” Ms Siewert said. “Water is the same, I think more industries are starting to look at it.”

A Wesfarmers CSBP spokesperson said the company was involved in the recycled water project.

“Our commitment is that almost all our water will be recycled,” he said.

“There are no adverse cost impacts.

“The point was that we wouldn’t see any cost increases in our scheme water [costs].”

CSBP utilises water mainly as a cooling agent rather than in its actual production process.

Through utilising the recycled water from the new plant, CSBP is less exposed to any potential future increases in the cost of scheme water to business.

The Swan Brewery is exploring the possibility of selling its recycled water to other industries in the Canning Vale area.

The brewery uses around 600,000 kilolitres a year, part of which goes out the door as beer. However, significant amounts are used in the cleaning and pasteurisation processes.

“Because we are a food and beverage company we can’t use anything other than potable water,” Swan Brewery project engineer Jared Murray said.

“An area where we can use recycled water is the cooling towers, which we’re doing now,” he said.

Mr Murray said the company was looking at the opportunities with the waste water from the operation.

“We’re looking at this water and there may be opportunities for the use of this water in other industries [in the area],” he said.

“We’re working with the Water Corporation to establish those opportunities.

“The benefit for the Swan Brewery is that if someone else uses the water it’s a direct saving on scheme water.

“The Water Corporation is asking industry do you really need to use scheme water.”

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