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Building Water Management System in Third World Plants Khaled Alnobani, M.Sc.

Chemical Engineer, Jordan Not always one encounters a problem of no water management system in a refinery nowadays. Sometimes decades of ignorance may result in a poor or no water management in all aspects. Low water prices, absence of laws to comply with, lost awareness, absence of policies, etc. all are factors that lead to not implementing a functional water management system. In this article the water management system is treated as a functional system because engineers are familiar with the structure of a system of functions. To determine the functions of the system it is required first to determine the arguments of these functions, and those include : Decision makers, Consumers, Treatment units, Equipment, Uses and Policy. There is no use in working long time to save 10 m3 of water in 10 usages while one decision maker can decide to waste more than 100 m3 at once and send them to the treatment units without studying any alternatives. Sometimes part of the water network is deteriorated with time and it reached a poor condition to the degree that it must be replaced, but in the third world budget is limited specially for reasons such as water reservation. It is not clear why they cannot pay for such important reasons while in other parts of the world the industry pay for itself but surely the reasons could be related to corruption. The functions of the system are: Minimizing water consumption, Achieving compliance, Maintaining treatment units operation, Maintaining operational integrity, Fulfilling process units demands. Each system argument has functions related to it. The results of all functions are common and should be: Sustaining the business, Complying with the laws, Protecting the environment and Water reservation.

There are functions of the system, the arguments and the relations that relate the arguments to the functions they are the tools which make the whole process working and moving, and those may be summarized as: decision making, monitoring, alternatives creative thinking. 1. Decision making: the personnel who are responsible for the water management system must take their role and share the decision making process, prior and after the decision is taken. 2. Monitoring: there are two kinds of monitoring; compliance monitoring and control monitoring; the first is performed to insure compliance with the laws and it is done on all streams of water leaving the refinery and that part used for irrigation inside the refinery, the second kind of monitoring is performed to insure that all water treatment units is functioning properly. For example in one refinery there was only API separator, DAF unit plus Aeration ponds, in this kind of waste water treatment making detailed analysis of all water constituents inside the envelope of the refinery is a waste of money and time because the effluent water will be no longer acceptable for reuse and will be disposed someway. This limit is possible because of absence of restricting laws that force the owner to properly manage his waste. In planning for monitoring attention must be given to: lab time, lab capabilities and information flow channels, there is large amount of information flow so usual mail using paper is not practical. Samples are taken from different places so different people are involved. The monitoring program is not primitive unless the treatment units are primitive in nature, at the same time all compliance tests must be done. Field monitoring of the uses; all uses that exceed a certain threshold value must be monitored and alternatives must be studied and the usage monitoring should be done before using water not after that. 3. Alternatives creative thinking: creative thinking is a skill here and the key point is that water is not the only liquid created on earth, there are other liquids which can be used for pressure testing and cleaning equipment and other uses. The only use which has no other alternative is drinking, so reserve clean water for drinking for every bodies benefit. If water usage could be avoided by changing procedures then why not. In advanced plants every thing is studied in the design stage but even then creativity could never be discarded, just put your head out-of the-box for a moment. There are methods to implement different management systems and here is a suggestion for the implementation of the functional water management system described here, this includes several steps: 1. Obtaining top and senior management commitment. 2. Proper training

3. Executing the monitoring program on stages for Change Management reasons. 4. Performing a preliminary water survey by distributing a water survey. 5. Performing a comprehensive water survey following the preliminary one via field visits to all concerned parties in the plant. 6. Sharing decision making. If the responsible person cannot discuss, decide or do not have the proper training then the water management system as a whole will be another waste and need treatment. There are ways to check for the system ill function: 1. Comparison of consumption with similar industries. 2. Compliance reports. 3. Real and possible recycling opportunities. The water management in the third world is subject to a culture that rise many obstacles most of them managerial, water is treated as something that could be bought and not as a valuable resource. The aim of any management system is achieving its objectives and those are found in the definition from our perspective - of management itself Optimum use of resources.