Smart Reduction of Water Withdrawal

Discover the key factors for reusing and recycling water in the heavy industry

June 21, 2023
digital, image, EGIC, ecolab global intelligence center

In the Treaty of Paris, it was proposed that all attending and signatory members create their water withdrawal reduction goals. Thus, many companies have set reduction goals with percentage numbers between 30 and 50% for the medium and long term (2030 and 2050) just to show their strong commitment to the health of the Planet.

Without jeopardizing the productivity and profitability of companies, those reduction goals are achievable if, and only if, the axiom of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) is immediately applied in a correct, measurable and monitored manner, taking full advantage of new technological developments and innovations.


In heavy industry, where the use of open cooling systems1 is required for process cooling, between 50 to 70% of the withdrawn water is lost through evaporation, which suggests that the balances of withdrawn water, consumption and non-recoverable losses should be part of the reduction goals. This does not mean that such goals cannot be achieved, it means that there must be a more comprehensive change in its operations and most likely with a different type of unit operations and technology. It should not be left undone and progress should be made in the reduction of water withdrawal through water conservation, reuse of water resulting from one process into another process, without changing its physical, chemical and/or microbiological characteristics, and water recycling (through treatment programs that recover or improve the purity of wastewater from its processes).

This is how Nalco Water's Climate Intelligent program within the Ecolab Water for Climate (EWC) compendium has the experience, knowledge and state-of-the-art technology to assist our clients in meeting their water withdrawal reduction goals, without affecting their long-term productivity and profitability, on the contrary, delivering value by reducing total operating cost, lower energy consumption and less greenhouse gas generation, improving water consumption rates per unit of production, reputation and survival of the company.   

Infografico 3Rs

The program starts with the application of Water Risk Monetizer2 to know the availability of the water resource near the company's site, as well as the level of contamination of this resource, followed by plant audits to perform all water balances, characterization of non-recoverable water streams and losses, process optimization, reuse possibilities and a complete analysis of the required unit operations and treatment programs for all recoverable water, to recycle water to the plant. All of the above always taking into account cost savings and returns on investment3.


1 Open cooling systems are the most efficient and cost effective cooling systems. Hence their importance and even existence.
2 Water Risk Monetizer - Nalco Water’s tool available for on-site assessment of water shortage, pollution, availability and future price of water resources. 
3 Without a return on investment, it will be very difficult to start up the projects.

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