water management

Water management in industrial plants

AFRY’s water management offering for process industries is a suite of services

These include water system design, water efficiency, and water system optimisation, as well as a selection of supportive products and digital tools.

There are many ways to manage water usage in industries. It starts from water system design in the early phase of the new industrial plant development. It continues during the operational phase of the plant with overall water management, including water efficiency, water use optimisation as well as possible reduction. Today, advanced digital solutions are playing a crucial role in water efficiency improvement.

Water and water systems are of key importance for most operations in the industrial production processes. Water is a strategic resource, and it is used in various ways in industrial processes: as a raw material in production, process water, cooling water, and eventually treated as wastewater. Good management of water systems will ensure sustainable operations.

With good water management, industrial companies can ensure safe and reliable production, optimised water and energy consumption, reduce their environmental impact and guarantee the continuity of industrial production.

AFRY as you partner in sustainable water management of any industrial plant

AFRY annually performs over 100 projects worldwide related to industrial water systems and water treatment and has a strong team of specialists as well as engineers working with the latest technologies and know-how in this area.

Our combination of process technology competence and multidisciplinary engineering expertise, combined with good knowledge of sustainability requirements, enables us to provide real value add to our clients.

  • Process technology competence and multidisciplinary engineering expertise combined with good knowledge of sustainability requirements
  • Technology independent advisor providing solutions that are the most suitable to our clients.
  • Lifecycle partner from studies to implementation projects and to daily operations
  • Global competence, local presence and know-how



Water and wastewater systems design and engineering in investment projects

Water systems design is an essential component in most new investment projects. AFRY have specialists familiar with all water systems and water qualities. Services are offered at all stages of investment projects, including project development phases from conceptual studies to pre-engineering, implementation engineering and commission services, as well as support during the operational phases.


Water systems design scope typically covers the engineering of:

  • Raw water intake and treatment solutions
  • Effluent treatment process
  • Demineralised water treatment processes
  • Cooling water systems
  • Secondary heat systems design and optimisation
  • Water recirculation concepts



water management
Water flow modelling

Water use reduction services

Many industrial processes use significant amounts of fresh water for process and cooling purposes. In many areas of the world, the availability of water is limited, and poor-quality water may require costly treatment.

Evaluation of measures required to reduce water usage:

  • Audits of water systems, including analysis of historical performance data
  • Preparation of detailed water balances
  • Definition and benchmarking of key performance indicators
  • Identification of savings opportunities measures
  • Assessing water savings potential for improvement measures
  • Cost estimation and prioritization of improvement measures
  • Engineering of specific measures


Closed water circuits

In pulp and paper, chemical industry and other process industries, the commonly used water management method is closed water circuits and moving towards zero water usage. It means that water that is used in the production process is cleaned and used again and again.

When investigating water usage and closing water circuits feasibility, it is crucial to take the entire production process into account. For example, in areas with abundant water availability, the optimal level of closure of the water system needs to be carefully analysed. Advanced effluent water treatment is naturally key in this thinking.

It is crucial to understand that the key issue is not the closure of water systems themselves but the management of the consequences the closure creates for product quality, process stability, scaling tendency, safety and material issues.

Several chemical pulp mills aim to find a solution for water circuits closure. As an example, in two separate recent projects at pulp and paper mills in Europe, the objective has been 20% water reduction through low-cost measures. Typically, at least 20% low-cost water savings can be identified at most chemical pulp mills.

Stainless steel pipes in the factory. Construction on food production.
water treatment

Optimisation of water systems

AFRY’s process specialists ensure that your water systems are optimised to maintain high energy and material efficiency, high product quality and low emissions.

The optimisation services cover a wide range of tasks such as:

  • Analysis of plant performance
  • Corrective measures evaluation
  • Reduction of operating costs
  • Optimisation of secondary heat systems
  • Improvement of effluent treatment performance and assure compliance
  • Measures to increase the capacity of effluent treatment
  • Monitoring planning
  • Troubleshooting and specialist services
  • Continuous support services


Digital tools to enable water system optimisation

Follow-up and optimisation of water consumption and of treatment processes is essential for successful results. AFRY offers several products to support optimisation of water systems in the process industry:

  • Effluent Treatment Optimisation Tool: A digitalized tool to ensure continuous compliance of your effluent treatment discharge
  • AFRY Walk Trough Audit: Brief but efficient audit to identify the key improvement opportunities.
  • AFRY On-line Process Optimisation: Long-term consultancy support and advisory in the optimisation of mill processes
  • Water Use Monitoring: A digitalised tool to enable control of water use, target setting and follow-up of targets.


Therese Tillander - Head of Environmental Sustainability, Process Industries Division
Therese Tillander
Head of Environmental Sustainability, Process Industries Division

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