Sustainable Water Consumption for Spirits, Brewing and Wine Making



Recorded on April 23, 2020

Duration: 54 minutes

This webinar provided training on how to map water use and identify reduction opportunities for sustainable operations. Expert guidance on how to save water and reduce costs by analyzing a facility’s water bills, developing baselines and using benchmarks were presented. KPPC’s energy use ratio calculator was also upgraded to include water use ratio and was demonstrated during the webinar.

Along with other water management topics, participants learned how to utilize sustainable value stream mapping; an approach of overlaying sustainability data to visualize and identify opportunities for water reduction, improvement in performance and cost savings.

Topics covered in this webinar include:

– Water bills
– Water benchmark and baseline development
– Management and technologies
– Sustainable value stream mapping with water



View this Webinar on the KPPC YouTube ChannelYoutube Logo

Presentation Info


Lissa McCracken, Executive Director
Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center

Mark Toda, Senior Sustainability Engineer
Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center

Samantha Gordon, Senior Sustainability Engineer
Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center

Robyn Whitted, Pollution Prevention Specialist
KDEP Division of Compliance Assistance



[00:01] Introduction

[01:06] Sustainable Spirits Timeline 2011-2020

[04:16] Webinar Overview

[07:15] Water Bills

[13:12] Water Benchmarking and Baselining

[23:57] Water Sustainable Value Stream Mapping (Sus-VSM)

[45:20] Management and Technologies

[48:36] Q&A

[51:57] Wrap-up

Note: Time-stamped links will be viewed on the KPPC YouTube channel. The same time-stamped links are also provided in the video description below the video on YouTube. Or the slider bar in the embedded video on this page can be dragged to the desired time for viewing a specific portion of the video.



Webinar Related Downloads

> PowerPoint presentation slides [PDF]

> KPPC SSBI Calculator

Note: The KPPC SSBI Energy Use and Emissions Calculator spreadsheet must be downloaded and opened with Microsoft Excel to be fully functional. The spreadsheet contains unprotected cells for data input and protected cells for calculated data that cannot be altered.


Kentucky Sustainable Spirits

The Division of Compliance Assistance, in collaboration with the Kentucky Distillers Association, have created the Sustainable Spirits Initiative to bring members of the industry together to discuss and share their experiences about current environmental issues and aspire to shape future opportunities for this sector.

Visit the Kentucky Sustainable Spirits website.



BIER Context-Based Decision Guide for Water Reuse and Recycling

The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) has published a Context-Based Decision Guide for Water Reuse and Recycling which furthers the beverage sector’s leadership on corporate water stewardship and builds upon previous work by BIER on performance in watershed context. The Decision Guide is designed to be relevant to any facility, in any industry, in any location in the world, and intended to accelerate internal conversations and decisions at the regional and facility level with regards to investments in advancing water stewardship through reduction, reuse, and recycling.

Find out more about this guide on the BIER website.



Kentucky Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (KSMI) Webinars

A series of webinars were provided as part of the Kentucky Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (KSMI) to demonstrate how sustainable manufacturing principles and practices can drive a strategy to enhance environmental performance and help achieve business goals and objectives into the future. Topics include life cycle perspective (LCP), developing a culture of innovation and sustainability, sustainable product development and sustainable value stream mapping (Sus-VSM).

Explore this valuable collection of KSMI webinars.


For the water use ratio for distilleries, is this water usage just for distillate, or does this include bottling (from mashing to bottling)?

The BIER benchmarking water use ratio includes bottling for distilleries. It includes the water use from mash to bottling. More detailed explanation is in the BIER study here:


Are there disadvantages to benchmarking or considerations when comparing my facility to others?

Yes, one disadvantage to benchmarking is getting to much into the details. It’s is not an apples to apples comparison – the facilities in the study are averaged together and likely all have different processes and equipment. It should ultimately be used as a guide and not a ranking.


Why do distilleries use more water than wineries or breweries?

Distilleries use more water than wineries or breweries because of the distilling and cooling process. More specifically, cooling water makes up the largest component of a distilleries water profile.


Does the water balance for for each process include the water used for cooling and cleaning?

Yes, we want to include the water used for cooling and cleaning. Cooling water is often recycled water, as that water typically goes back to a coolin tower or a chiller to be cooled again. So if we include cooling water we want to take that into account that that water is recirculated to be used again for the particular process step.


I have a water consuming piece of equipment that is used for more than one process step. How do I include that in the water balance?

Take a look at your equipment inventory, and for that piece of equipment, for instance a chiller which may be used for multiple process steps, maybe mash cooking and distillation. Consider how many gallons is used for mash cooking and how many is used for distillation and determine what percentage is use in each step and divide the water use for the chiller up accordingly for those process steps in the water balance. So, use your inventory and your sustainable value stream map together to determine the water use for each process step from a common piece of equipment. Contact KPPC if you would like help with doing this.


Do you have knowledge of any specific reasons for the significant improvement in Kentucky distilleries’ decrease in water and energy consumption?

We have seen general consumer pressures for beverage manufacturers to have a focus on sustainability. KPPC has reached out to the Kentucky Distillers Association for a more specific response and will update the response here when received.