Analysis of Water Characteristics of Manufacturing Industries and Their Adaptability to Semi-Arid Regions
Historically arid and semi-arid areas of the Southwest have exhibited a complete or almost complete dearth of manufacturing processes. In New Mexico’s case this fact is emphatically underscored by the effective absence of any data on New Mexico in recent Census of Manufactures water use sections.
Because of its relatively limited water supply an area such as the Southwest must give more careful and considered thought to the water related impact of an industry than has generally been the case in other areas of the country. There are at least three significant categories into which an industrial water-using firm’s impact on its surrounding water environment can be classified: 1) the polluting effect of its effluent, 2) its withdrawal demand for new water, and 3) its consumptive use of water. For informed planning more detailed information is required concerning the present operating characteristics of ma,Nor water-using industries in each of these categories and their technological ability to adapt to the economic and environmental conditions of water use in the Southwest.
The industries chosen for detailed study are petroleum refining and coal gasification. Selection criteria were based on a high probability of the industry locating in New Mexico, a differing water use pattern, and process substitution possibilities. Of the industries chosen the petroleum refining industry currently has several facilities located within the states and in the adjacent Southwestern area as well as one ne-w refinery currently under construction. No commercial coal gasification facilities are in existence in the United States although several permit applications to build plants in New Mexico have been filed. Attention is given to process descriptions particularly in terms of wastewater generation, treatment process and process unit costs where available. Brief discussions are presented of the major New Mexico river and water basins, water quality measurement concepts, and wastewater treatment processes currently being used or having a high potential for use. An example of the application of a linear programming model predicting the response of a petroleum refinery to water costs is shown. The results of this work are felt to permit a ranking of other industries from a water-use viewpoint through the application of the concepts presented and to allow comparative evaluation of industries of interest to be made.
Project No. B-032-NMEX