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Industry guideline for increased reuse of water in the dairy industry

The aim is to develop a basis for revising the industry guidelines regarding water use in the dairy sector. With an improved knowledge basis, it is possible to make water use more efficient without jeopardizing the quality and safety of the food. Implementation of new guidelines is expected to lead to significant water savings in the food industry.


Reduced water use necessary in the food industry

There is a desire and requirement to reduce water use and waste water generation in the food industry to promote the transition to a climate-neutral and circular industry. It is important to achieve effective resource utilization by:

  • Use water-saving techniques and
  • Reuse water.

Water of drinking water quality is used too often

Sweden has one of the world's highest standards for food safety. A contributing factor is that almost everywhere water of drinking water quality is used at the slightest suspicion of product safety risks. This leads to the overuse of potable water, for example to cool the outside of engines even though there is a very low probability that this water can contaminate the product.

Risk assessment necessary if other water quality is to be used

Going against standard procedure and using other than potable water (where safe) requires a comprehensive risk assessment. This work is both expensive and unproven, and in many situations there is a lack of "predecessors" who could contribute with open data/knowledge.

We therefore want to contribute with the basis for the development of policy and instruments to increase sustainability around the safe reuse of water in the food industry by revising the national industry guidelines for the dairy industry. This will create the opportunity to reduce drinking water use and the generation of wastewater in the food industry.

Expected effects and results

The revised industry guidelines will be used directly by companies in their own efforts to increase the rate of implementation of, and reduce the risk of, water saving measures. They will also serve as scientific background support and a source of knowledge in the contact between companies and authorities in risk assessments around water reuse.

Till följd av förändring i branschriktlinjerna (inom projektet) och efter implementeringen av en ökad återanvändning av vattnet på mejerierna (efter projektet) förväntas dricksvattenbehovet minska med upp till 70% från dagens nivåer.

Planerat upplägg och genomförande

I projektet kommer vi att:

  • Identifiera typiska, branschgemensamma vattenbesparande åtgärder
  • Genomföra riskanalyser för identifierade möjligheter
  • Sammanställa och anpassa tidigare studier kring indelning av vatten i olika kvaliteter
  • Överföra resultaten till branschstandardformat och uppdatera riktlinjerna enligt Livsmedelsverkets praxis.


Project name

Industry guideline for water in dairies



RISE role in project


Project start




LRF Mjölk, Arla Foods, Norrmejerier, Gäsene mejeri




Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

2. Zero hunger
6. Clean water and sanitation
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
Lars Hamberg

Contact person

Lars Hamberg


+46 10 516 66 45

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Contact Lars
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Charlotta Löfström

Contact person

Charlotta Löfström


+46 10 516 67 30

Read more about Charlotta

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