The Scope of Industrial Water Audit - Netsol Water Solutions
Water is a precious natural international resource that has almost a fixed quantum of availability. With continuous growth in the world’s population, per capita availability of utilizable water is decreasing every day. Continuous discharge of industrial effluents into different water bodies is further aggravating the problematic situation of shortage of water of acceptable quality.
Rainfall is also highly variable and occurs in specific months in different parts of the world. We need to declare water conservation as an international mission. It is very crucial and important for all countries to collectively address the problem of alarmingly progressive water shortage. This is possible only, by conserving every drop of water and by conducting water audits for all sectors of water usage.
The first step to decreasing water consumption in any industry is the identification of current water usage. The current water usage can be identified by undertaking a water audit.
Water audit can be defined as a qualitative cum quantitative analysis of water consumption which will help in the identification of reducing, reusing, and recycling water.
Water audit helps to determine the following:
the amount of water lost from a distribution system due to leakage
the amount of water lost due to theft,
the amount of water lost due to unauthorized or illegal withdrawals from the systems
the cost of such water losses to the utility.
Elements of water audit include the following
a record of the quantity of water supplied cum stored by different sources,
water consumption by users,
water delivered to unmetered users,
water loss in the system
suggested measures to address water loss
wastewater treated and recycled
Industrial water use audit examines the following major areas:
water used by the industrial process,
water used for human consumption,
water used for personal hygiene & sanitation,
water used for washing,
water used for cleaning,
water used for gardening etc.
Benefits of Water Audit:
Water audit improves the knowledge cum documentation of the water distribution system, problem and risk areas. The water audit also helps in tracking the movement of water after it leaves the source point.
Leak detection programs help minimize leakages and tackling small issues before they become major ones.
These programs lead to the following results:
The decrease in water losses in the systems of the industries.
Improvement in financial performance for factories.
Increase in the reliability of the water supply system.
Increase in knowledge of the water distribution system.
Efficient and effective usage of current water supplies.
Improved safeguard to public health and property.
Reduction in disruption, resulting in improvement of the level of service to the various customers.
A water audit lays the foundation for a broader plan.
Approach and Methodology for Water Audit:
The water audit is normally completed in three different stages which are as follows:
Pre-audit: This stage includes the collection of primary data regarding sources of water, water consumption of various purposes, wastewater generated, etc.
Steps followed in pre-audit are:
i. Water supply
ii. Water usage study.
iii. Process study.
Process audit: This stage is the examination of the system which helps in the determination of the following :
i. whether the water is being consumed efficiently
ii. whether the water is being consumed effectively
Post audit: This stage includes the following steps
i. Awareness in the system about water conservation.
ii. Documentation of Water consumption
iii. Time to time remedial measures.
What happens in a water audit?
First, conduct a facility water usage inventory for each facility in the factory
Second, identify water management goals
Third, determine how the on-site water is being used by installing sub-meters wherever feasible
Last, monitoring for water-savings.
Why should there be a systematic approach towards water audit?
A systematic approach towards water audit helps the industry to conserve the water as well as savings of water through remedial measures.
The following factors help in the judicious utilization of water:
Reduction in leakages,
Carrying out rooftop rainwater harvesting works,
Consumer’s awareness of water consumption and its losses.
The nature and types of water audit techniques differ from industry to industry. This depends on the following factors:
Quality as well as quantity of consumed water
Different processes carried out in the industry
The number of personnel in the industry
Water using hardware in the factories
Type of generated wastewater
The purpose of a water audit is to:
First, clearly establish baseline water consumption data
Second, reveal areas of operations with high water usage
Awareness is created in the system regarding water conservation; for an accurate understanding of water usage by each individual in the factory, a survey is conducted with regard to details of daily water usage. Awareness program is conducted among the industry personnel to educate them about water conservation and water-savings. Along with awareness, remedial measures are taken as well as suggested.
For example, one such remedial measure can be rooftop rainwater harvesting. The leakages are detected as well as repaired on a priority basis. The posters, as well as symbols, are installed within the industry to save water. The numbering system for water storage tanks and water dispenser taps is undertaken. This numbering system will be useful to the factory for the future maintenance of water tanks and taps.
Suggestions for water conservations are given to the administration of the factory, based on water auditing and water savings.
If the baseline data is not available before the consumption-reducing efforts, there does not exist any way to monitor the progress of water conservation programs and exercises. A business needs to know the current water utilization condition as well as levels of water usage. Subsequently, it can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-oriented, Timebound) goals to achieve in the future.