How to Identify Improvements
When evaluating potential practice and process changes or the purchase of new equipment to address root causes, wineries should balance the cost and time to implement these changes, against the potential longer-term benefits such as:
- Time savings
- Water savings
- Energy savings (including energy used to heat and pump water)
- Avoided product or by-product losses
- Improved working conditions
While the suitability of specific improvements may differ between wineries, the following are examples of practice and process improvements wineries can take to reduce water use and wastewater:
Involve employees in the development of new procedures and practices to successfully implement changes.
Wineries must balance water conservation goals with their cleaning and sanitation requirements.
Example: Identifying Improvements in a Sample Winery
The winery wanted to address the root causes that were leading to excessive water use in cleaning the cellar floor.
As a simple and low-cost way to reduce water use, the winery decided to install shut-off nozzles on all the hoses.
Solving the problem of the rough concrete floors was a bigger challenge. It would involve finishing the floors with an epoxy at a high cost and require significant time. Initially, the winery thought that finishing the floor was not worth the investment. However, after taking into account the water savings and reduction in staff time to clean the floor, the winery decided to proceed with the improvement.
The winery worked with its employees to develop a plan and schedule to finish the cellar floor with as little disruption as possible to the day-to-day operations.