In his ‘Tracking Industrial Trends’ column this month, Gary i. Crawford of Crawford Strategic Consulting talks about the precious nature of water and some of the latest steps being taken to protect this limited resource.

Tracking industrial trends Water on the mindThe resilient and invasive water hyacinth weed is again taking over Hartbeespoort Dam.

Like most students of the brain, I’m convinced of the value of drinking enough water, although, quite frankly, I’m more of a water ‘derivative’ fan. A fine wine or beautifully crafted beer have much more appeal than H2O.

During my working life I’ve been lucky to consult with several blue-chip clients in whose businesses water played a significant role, from Rand Water and its large diameter spiral-weld pipeline manufacturing facility – I recall that its CEO had the delightfully appropriate surname of Bath – to SAB which at that time used one tenth of its water in actual brewing and nine tenths in maintaining sterile conditions. From them I learned about reducing waste and correct storage and handling of water.

From a more recent client, I learned the value of a ‘natural’ approach to sediment control and treatment equipment ‘conditioning.’ From my involvement with the stainless steel industry, I learned that water authorities around the world were losing unprecedented volumes of water through leaking pipelines.

In the past week, I’ve come the closest I’ve been to living near water. Now, officially residents of ‘Harties,’ we availed ourselves of ‘Oewerklub’ membership and immediately went down to the shore to enjoy the vast sweep of water and the village of Kosmos nestled at the foot of the Magaliesberg monocline.

Reality was a little different from what was in our mind’s eye. A visual sweep, yes, not of water but of dense Water Hyacinth from shore to shore!

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