Australian industries (agriculture, mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas, and others) consume large volumes of fresh water from the environment; and produce wastewater that can be hazardous and expensive to dispose.
As the climate changes, freshwater scarcity intensifies, driving industries to implement intelligent wastewater recycling strategies that reduce freshwater consumption and costs.
This article highlights five reasons for industrial users to recycle their wastewater and reduce their freshwater consumption:
To minimise operational costs
To improve environment sustainability
To gain a positive community image
To insulate from drought conditions
To reduce political risks
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data reveals that industries account for approximately 85 per cent of fresh water consumed in Australia; with households consuming the remaining 15 per cent.
Figure 1.1 Water Consumption - Industry and Households, by State and Territory: Sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics, catalogue #4610.0, published 26/02/2019
According to the ABS, water consumption within each industry is relatively consistent year-to-year; with agriculture consuming the most fresh water, at over 60 per cent.