Determinants of water consumption in the dairy industry

Open access

This paper analyzes the correlations between selected technical, process and production factors, equipment profiles and water consumption statistics in four types of dairy plants. Dairy plants were surveyed both individually and in groups. Water consumption was most highly correlated (r > 0.868) with equipment profiles. The highest water consumption was observed in dairy plants operating milk powder departments. In those plants, organization and production factors could significantly reduce water consumption levels because in addition to milk powder, those plants also supplied eight other products. The indicators of water consumption per unit of the final product were correlated (at 0.820 > | r | > 0.663) with equipment profiles, the degree of process automation and employment. Variations in water consumption per unit of the final product were best explained in small plants supplying several products. The presented equations can be used to optimize water demand of various types of equipment and to determine the correlations with energy consumption for wastewater treatment. Our results can contribute to the development of water consumption models in dairy plants and the implementation of clean production standards.

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