Sustainability watchdog sets concrete production water accounting standards

The Cement Sustainability Initiative has capped a two-year effort to formalize accounting of water consumption and recycling in cement, concrete and aggregate production. The new 34-page Guidance on Good Practices for Water Accounting builds on Protocol for Water Reporting for the Cement Industry (2014) and Water Key Performance Indicators (2015).

Guidance offers recommendations and technical direction on measurement and making estimates for reliable water withdrawal, discharge and consumption accounting in concrete, cement and aggregate operations. Stepwise instructions, diagrams and formulae present practical advice on how reporting requirements can be met, type of equipment needed, and how devices can be installed and maintained to ensure accurate water measurements.

Authors detail three broad water accounting methodology categories: Measurement methods, including the use of forced and free flow meters; calculation by measurement, such as volume and speed area methods; and, calculation by estimation, which touches on pump and precipitation-derived figures. Other Guidance topics include water accounting principles, site boundary definition, and data management. A full glossary, process flow diagrams and lists of indicative values and references serve as practical elements for producers seeking to better measure and management their water footprint.

Available free of charge at, the new document includes guidance on ready mixed concrete production, including a chart provided by Argos USA parent and CSI member, Cementos Argos.