The hydrogeologist report must properly describe the water source and any existing, if any, polluting activities in the regional area. In fact, the hydrogeologist is required to certify that the resource supplying the bottling plant is free from any pollution potential. This can be regarded as a first step on the path of water stewardship.
The next logical step in following the precepts of water stewardship is to identify the industry’s water footprint and then to identify the areas where water is used, and finally to set targets of reduction. Part of this work has already been done: we know that South African industry benchmark is 1.8:1, but there are plants that achieve ratios of as low as 1.3:1 – 1.4:1 by recycling their bottle rinse water.
The next steps include us comparing the practices at those plants achieving 1.3:1 with those achieving higher water ratios to determine and set benchmarks we can all follow.
For more information about water footprints, view this extensive FAQ here.