A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation

The State of Georgia has been in the news for their *victory* over the use of Lake Lanier, the water supply for the Atlanta metro area and one of the sore spots regarding water between neighbors Alabama and Florida. As this friendly *water war* progressed, Georgia's governor, Sonny Perdue, signaled that it was time for Georgia to get serious about water planning, and integrated greywater into the statewide plan. The top party school in the US, the University of Georgia, also started down the path to become one of the top *green* schools in the nation by integrating greywater into the design and use of a new college dorm.

Despite the apparent *victory* over their water neighbors, this report by WALB news about the 20% increase in production is at MillerCoors Albany, Georgia plant where they are still trying to save water. They issued a press release on their sustainability initiative report a couple of weeks ago. Water highlights include:

• Approached, and in some instances met, the company’s 2015 water efficiency ratio goal of 3.5 barrels of water per barrel of beer at three breweries 

• Began a pilot study to assess water risks related to barley growing in the Snake River Valley region of Idaho 

• Conducted a Water Source Vulnerability Assessment project to complete baseline assessments of watershed risks at each brewery 

The article goes on to say....

Water, it's the main ingredient in every product the Albany MillerCoors plant brews. The company is committed to being a good steward of the resource, so they're making changes to their production lines, changes that include the Ionic Air Compressor.

"That uses a charged air compressed jet to clean the cans and by not using water we expect that to save four million gallons of water a year just on that one unit," said Dave Dixon, MillerCoors Environmental Engineer.

The air riser is being tested here in Albany and will likely be rolled out to other breweries nationwide. Another trial is just ending on a dry lube distribution line, that previously used a constant stream of soapy water to move cases through the brewery.

"By getting a different kind of lubrication it doesn't use water, you're not constantly spraying water on those conveyors," said Dixon.

If MillerCoors can find a market to recycle it they will. Everything from cans, to the straps on cases, to the inside of shrink wrap tubes.

"We recycle over 99 percent of all of our waste, not just recycling water and using gray water," said Dixon.

Oregon's slogan is *We Love Dreamers* but we don't have any water dreamers quite like Georgia.  The RWC is keeping *Georgia on My Mind* as it continues to search for a progressive water plan that recognizes the *value* of water to sustaining businesses, just like the megabrewers in Milwaukee, WI. But Oregon can only boast of wanting to look like the other water visionary states until it overcomes the nightmare of being one of the two western states without a statewide water strategy, vision, or plan (or whatever one wants to call it).

* * *
No, our greatness does not come from our government. 
~ Former Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue 

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