Preparing for a more volatile water supply, and management, future that has already arrived!!

T.D. Finley
Dow, Inc,
United States

Keywords: industrial water conservation, water supply risk, watershed planning, minimum liquid discharge, zero liquid discharge, water ruse technology


Water is essential for daily life and an equally critical resource for industrial production. Two decades of focus on industrial water conservation is however currently observed, in many locations, to be falling short of protecting watershed supply reliability, watershed health and/or industrial production capability and reliability. Continuing population growth, increasing water demands, increased climate change driven precipitation variability and greater than historical seasonal drought evaporation rates create a serious threat to sustained industrial production and society and the environment in an increasing number of locations around the globe. My talk/presentation will focus on assessing and managing water supply threats/risks to industrial production and more broadly at a watershed level. Perspective and examples shared will draw on more than 30 years of experience supporting all aspects of water operations for large and small production facilities around the globe. I will draw attention to a critical need to be more quantitative in our assessment of water supply risk and to the need to understand and consider the probabilistic nature of water supply when assessing risk and striving to effect change. I will, as well, share perspective on a broad range of actions (innovations) that can be taken both within production facilities and more broadly through water sheds in an effort to be more prepared for a future that is already here.