Synthesis of Sustainable Property-Based Water Networks Academic Article uri icon


  • This work presents a new mathematical programming model for the optimal integration of an industrial water network and its supporting watershed. In particular, the model determines the optimal location of a new industrial facility considering the sustainable integration of its wastewater discharges with the surrounding watershed through a disjunctive formulation. The behavior of the watershed impacted by the new discharges is described by the material flow analysis (MFA) technique in terms of property balances. The MFA technique considers all inlet and outlet streams in the watershed (i.e., residential, sanitary, industrial discharges and extractions). Therefore, for a new industrial plant, the proposed model allows to track the water properties throughout the watershed and determine the allowable level of discharges. The objective function involves the minimization of the total annualized cost that includes the costs for the installation of the new plant (including the transportation for raw materials, products and services, as well as the land cost), wastewater treatment, piping, and the purchase of the fresh sources. The resulting model is a mixed-integer nonlinear program (MINLP) and a case study for one of the most important watersheds of Mexico is presented to demonstrate the advantages of the proposed formulation. The results show that the environmental regulations are not enough to satisfy the sustainability of the integrated system (i.e. new industrial plant, watershed and other elements of the environment). Hence, unlike previous approaches, the proposed model yields sustainable water networks by taking into consideration simultaneously in-plant water integration and its interaction with the surrounding watershed including various environmental elements such as neighboring plants, cities and agricultural areas. 2012 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fernando Lira-Barragan, L., Maria Ortega-Ponce, J., Serna-Gonzalez, M., & El-Halwagi, M. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Lira-Barragán, Luis Fernando||Ortega-Ponce, José María||Serna-González, Medardo||El-Halwagi, Mahmoud M

publication date

  • January 2012