San Antonio’s Nugget Co. goes Lean to reduce water consumption (???)

Via Scoop.itlean manufacturing
“…Over the next two years, the center will work with The Nugget Co. to improve its wastewater treatment processes and to reduce the amount of water the manufacturer uses to produce its sheep and lambskin products…” (   This is a novel application of Lean. I understand why overuse of water may be a problem for the company, but not what part of Lean might conceivably solve it. Assuming that water plays a part in the chemistry of leather making, the amount consumed is a matter of process engineering, and it is difficult to imagine anyone other than experienced process engineers finding how to reduce it without hurting quality.   Lean projects typically improve the way an organization executes its processes, but not the processes themselves.  They affect line and workstation design, operating policies, production control methods, and support activities, but usually not the phyics or chemistry of the processes.