Drought Impacts on Manufacturing
Manufacturers use water for many processes, including fabrication, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, and transporting goods. Water is also often incorporated into products themselves. High volumes of water are used in the production of food, paper, and chemicals and in the refining of petroleum. Conducting a water assessment of a manufacturing facility is an important first step to understanding facility water use and identifying savings opportunities, before a drought hits.
During drought conditions, reductions in the amount of available water can reduce manufacturing productivity or even lead to temporary closures of key manufacturing facilities. Including drought mitigation and preparation into routine business planning processes can help raise the topic for discussion and allow manufacturers to consolidate resources and develop system responses before a drought event hits. Integrated planning of multiple potential hazards can also help a business to increase resilience and more rapidly recover from drought conditions.
During drought, alternative water supply sources for manufacturing may include groundwater pumping and/or using reclaimed, recycled, or recirculated water.