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    Record Water Shortages Require Sustainable Solutions

    April 28, 2015

    • Fresh water is a natural resource that is limited and requires conservation. Manufacturers, especially those under mandatory water restrictions, should consider more sustainable solutions, like 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids. When used for precision cleaning, Novec fluids can reduce water consumption by up to 6,000 gallons per week for each replacement.

      Many countries already face significant water scarcity and without significant improvements in water resource management, global water demand is estimated to exceed what is currently available by 40 percent by 2030. California, Australia and Taiwan are just a few places that are currently mandating water use restrictions for the public and manufacturers to combat water shortages. 

      California is taking extreme measures to limit water use, by imposing 25 percent water restrictions on residents and businesses for the first time – saving roughly 500 billion gallons over the next nine months. "This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said California Governor Jerry Brown, "It's a different world. We have to act differently." 

      In addition to water restrictions, the California Energy Commission and the State Water Resources Control Board are strongly encouraging investment in new, innovative water management technologies. According to Executive Order B-29-15 (PDF, 2.78 MB), this program is designed to save water and energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, "by accelerating the use of renewable, precision technologies. 

      According to satellite data from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, a staggering 11 trillion gallons are needed for California to recover from the emergency, so every effort should be made to conserve water in affected areas. 

      Australia is on the brink of drying out due to carbon emissions and what NOAA dubs "human-caused climate change." Because of this critical situation, Australia is known for close monitoring and managing of available water on the driest inhabited continent. California is looking to Australia for ideas on how to best manage water resources. 

      This year, Taiwan reported its lowest total rainfall between October and February since record-keeping began in 1947. To combat the water shortage, Taiwan government is imposing water restrictions. For instance, Taiwan manufacturers are required to further reduce water use by 10 percent. According to Bloomberg Business, some manufacturers in Taiwan are reducing water consumption through non-manufacturing changes, while others anticipate their production lines will be "impacted considerably." 

      Make the Switch from Water
      One way for industrial companies to conserve large amounts of water, is by switching from aqueous cleaning systems to a vapor degreasing system using precision cleaning solvents like 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids. Unlike most aqueous cleaning processes, Novec fluids offer faster cleaning and quick drying with lower energy and fluid consumption. 

      Learn more about all the benefits of switching from an aqueous based cleaning system to vapor degreasing system using 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids and download our flyer (PDF, 946.36 KB).

      3M and Novec are trademarks of 3M Company.

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