3 Waterwise Strategies for the Food Industry

By Linda Jackson on 24 August 2021

In 2019 we saw Cape Town in a drought crisis, and this year we have seen the Nelson Mandela Bay metro repeating the countdown to day zero.
In the bigger picture, we must be prepared and consider the impact of these repeated droughts across our provinces, given that they are likely to take place again and again given the changing weather patterns.

This climate issue poses a vital question...

What should our water stance be as the food industry?

Although some sectors of the food industry consume more than others, we should all be doing our bit to preserve what we have.

During the height of the drought, food companies were forced to look closely at their operations to reduce water usage. But did these actions and initiatives remained in place and become the new normal?

With World Water Week being held from 23-27 August, it’s a good time to revisit some useful strategies to reduce freshwater consumption and wastewater generation:

3 Waterwise Strategies for the Food Industry

These strategies must consider the food safety implications too - despite the need to save water, we cannot afford to compromise on hygiene.


Water-saving through the development of unit operations that use less water


Reducing uncontrolled water use during processing and cleaning (e.g. repairing leaks, reducing water pressure in some areas of the site, using spray nozzles for cleaning, etc.)


Recycling or reuse of water within the food processing plant, either directly or following reconditioning. An assessment of water usage and characteristics at the different process steps of a food plant helps with selecting potential sources of water for reuse.

Here's our useful water reading list

This article highlights a number of resources you can consult when making the correct decisions around the risks associated with recycling water.

The harsh truth about the future of food production

A useful overview article listing some great references.

The International Life Sciences Institute is a non-profit research organisation. This is a MUST read

Use the principles of HACCP to ensure your water is safe

The business case for water conservation.


Make sure you continue to do your bit and send us your ideas and stories