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A Framework for the Successful Implementation of Onsite Industrial Water Reuse

Project: 14-04
Estimated Release: TBD
Product: Report

Program: Principal
Funding Partner: NA
Total Investment: $263,000 (Cash: $150,000, In-Kind cash and service: $113,000)

Principal Investigator: Brian Moore, ARCADIS U.S.


As it currently stands, no comprehensive framework exists for the implementation of onsite industrial water reuse. Because industrial water reuse is very different from municipal reuse, this framework has the potential to be a vital tool for an industry looking to pursue a water reuse strategy. Current practices are very site specific with little communication across industries; however the following commonalities may exist among sectors:

  • Site characterization
  • End-use water quality requirements
  • Treatment technologies
  • Waste/residuals management and discharge/disposal regulations for wastes

There are several industrial sectors with the potential to expand their adoption of water reuse including chemical manufacturing, the metals industry, power generation, oil/gas production, high-tech, mining, and the food/beverage industries. This framework is expected to be applicable to a wide-range of industrial needs and promote water reuse in the industrial sector and will build off of the work being done by the WateReuse Research Foundation Project titled Drivers, Successes, Challenges and Opportunities for Onsite Industrial Water Reuse: a Path Forward for Collaboration and Growth (WRRF-13-04).

Goals and Objectives

The project will:

  • Support onsite industrial water reuse opportunities by providing a framework that assists in the initiation and implementation of an onsite reuse program.
  • Present detailed criteria on how to develop guidelines that will enable the design, construction, and operation of an onsite industrial water reuse facility that fulfills the water management needs. These criteria should address water quality/supply risks, listing requirements that fulfill their production requirements in an environmentally-sustainable manner.

Research Approach

Task 1: Literature Review. An investigation of published literature that addresses water reuse by industry will be conducted. The literature review will identify reports of how is water used at manufacturing facilities spanning a range of industries and will assess published information on development of a plant-wide water balance through identification of all systems that use or discharge water.

Task 2: Essential Elements of Onsite Water Reuse. The essential elements of an onsite industrial water reuse program will be identified and developed for use by a range of industries. It is anticipated that these elements will include an evaluation of all available water sources and reuse opportunities, an evaluation of the local and regional pressures on the water supplies, and broader global pressures related to investor interests and corporate commitments.

Task 3: Developing Standard Approach and Business Case. This task will provide a framework for industrial water users to take them through the process of water use evaluation and identification of opportunities for onsite reuse. The result from this will be a decision tree or flowchart with standard operating procedures (SOPs) attached for decision-making assistance.

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