Modern industrial development makes it difficult to imagine the non-use of water for consumption. It is used in different processes, from washing, heating and cooling, to the generation of steam. Transport dissolved substances or particles, as raw material, solvent, or as a fundamental constituent of products (as in the case of the beverage sector). The volume of water used by the industry constitutes close to 10% of the total water withdrawals. However, the industry exerts a specific pressure on water resources, not because of the amount consumed in its own production, but rather because of the impacts derived from waste, dumping and residual discharges, with well-founded polluting potential. (UNESCO, 2017).
Increasing consumption of water for industry and energy increasingly coincides with rapid development that transforms water use patterns in emerging market economies. It is more than certain that the intensity of the use of water in the industry in general terms, has also been increasing with the production indicators. In Peru, the industry uses 6% of the water consumed in the country with an effectiveness of up to 50%, highlighted Juan Carlos Riveros, conservation director of WWF Peru. The latter reflects that many of the industries lack an efficient resource system, which in general can be summarized in inappropriate consumption habits.
How to save and make proper use of water in industry?
To answer this question, it is necessary for each industry to carry out a study that determines how much water is consumed and specifically in which part of the process it is used (Water footprint), as well as the extremes of consumption (moments of greater or lesser use, the process and how it is done). Deepening the recognition of the water value should also bring closer to the presence of measurement instruments and real-time response for common problems (leaks, leaks, open taps, employment in non-fundamental tasks or excessive consumption in part or the whole of the system)
The correct habits are an adaptation process that takes time, in addition to the support in technical tools for the application of new water consumption objectives. Some general recommendations that should lead to a better vision of industrial consumption:
- Reassess the use of chemicals that allow water to be reused.
- Reuse water in the processes and application of quality improvement treatment.
- Efficient use of equipment, using the most appropriate program for each process.
- Promote dry cleaning systems, such as sweeping or vacuuming.
- Identify and repair unnecessary leaks, leaks or losses.
- Evaluate the use of non-potable water for industrial use.
- Instrumentalization and control of all supply facilities to avoid losses due to carelessness.
- Optimize the use of cooling and heating equipment.
- Use automatic irrigation mechanisms.
By: Rubén Estrada