聚焦纺织品印花产业的商机与未来
2021.05.20-22 Poly World Trade Center Expo
 

Reduce water consumption in manufacturing process is a timely demand

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Water is an extremely important resource for our planet and for every living creature. A significant part of the global population faces serious difficulties to access drinking water. We are blessed enough because we live in such a country where we have an abundant supply of freshwater. The adequacy of freshwater leads us to undermine the true value of this resource and we often unconsciously misuse water.


  Figure: By reducing water consumption, textile and apparel can reduce the energy and chemicals required to process water.


But nothing is unlimited. Due to the over-extraction of groundwater for irrigation, industrial use and household consumption, our water table is depleting every year at an alarming rate. As per scientific data, the groundwater level is going down by 1-3 meters every year. This may lead to a catastrophic situation if we do not stop extracting groundwater or regenerating water at a higher rate than groundwater extraction.


Bangladesh is the 7th most populous country in the world and we are mostly dependent on groundwater. As the population increases, the water and water supply level is getting increasingly tighter, which means that we all need to do our part to conserve water through every possible means.


Water sustainability is an important factor for the textile and RMG industry, particularly for the wet processing sectors. As we are pursuing a long-term growth vision, sustainability is the most crucial factor to succeed.


To pursue the projected growth of the industry, especially we foresee more investments in the backward linkage textile sector, we need a lot of water and most importantly we need to know the sustainable source of water.


One point we would all agree that wastage of water has a major adverse impact on our competitiveness. The more the water we use, the higher the manufacturing cost would be, since it will require more chemicals, dyes and even energy.


By reducing water consumption, we can reduce the energy and chemicals required to process water which ultimately reduces our costs of production and make us more cost and resource-efficient. Optimum use of water also helps to reduce pollution and the cost of maintaining effluent treatment plants.


Being the largest manufacturing industry, we have a bigger responsibility and role to play. Our small initiatives may make a huge difference. It can start from our own humble steps and if we can encourage people around us to change behavior toward the water, we can save this invaluable resource, as well as become more competitive.


So, I think first and foremost we need to set a discipline in water use, create awareness and develop in-house culture. For example – we need to ensure that the water taps are closed after using every time, and the faucets and pipelines are not leaking. Even though we often use excessive water during showers; we can try to be optimum.


Also while drinking from bottled mineral water; we should not throw away the unused water, we can at least use it in the indoor or outdoor plants. We do also have advanced technologies to measure water efficiency, and water metering comes first. If we can measure water consumption in every process of our factories, we would know where we have the room to improve and can control it. For that, we need to set up a water metering system in our factory.


Author: Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA


At the same time, we need to reduce dependency on groundwater and start using mixed water sources. Because the efficient mix of using surface and groundwater resources can halt the drastic fall in our water table.


Moreover, the use of water-efficient technologies like rainwater harvesting, low liquor ratio dyeing machines, water-efficient fixtures, proper management of effluent treatment plants, re-use and recycling of water, etc. can also reduce water consumption in the manufacturing process.


So my humble request is to kindly consider this issue and let us do our best to save water, be more competitive, save our planet and make it a better place for our future generations. Whatever we do to the natural system, it returns us exactly the same way.


By Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA