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Checklists of Common Water Impacts

Using these checklists as a starting point, identify areas where business activities directly or indirectly impact water quality and availability at each stage of the value chain. Keep in mind that an activity may have a positive or negative impact. For example, reinjecting reused process water, treated to drinking water standards, can recharge a local aquifer.

Potential Impacts Related to Water Discharges

Water discharges can affect the water quality of the receiving body by changing the levels of:

Nutrients (e.g., phosphorus, nitrogen)
  Dissolved gas
  Biological oxygen demand (BOD)
  Chemical concentrations
  Water temperature

The timing and amount of water discharges can also impact flows and water availability.

Potential Impacts Related to Other Activities

Other business activities also have the potential to impact water quality and availability. At each stage of the value chain, be sure to consider:

Air deposition into water (e.g., acid rain)
  Potential for spills to surface water
  Leaking tanks and pipes
  Changes to impervious surfaces caused by construction and development


ResourcesReturn to Module 1