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Important note

The methodology of the 2005 Industrial Water Survey is described elsewhere in this report. It should be noted that there were significant differences in how this survey was conducted as compared to previous versions of the survey. As a result, one should exercise caution when comparing the results of this survey with the 1996 version of the survey or with even earlier versions of the survey. This report refrains from most comparisons. Some of the most prominent methodological differences that may result in problematic comparisons are:

  1. The use of the North American Industrial Classification, 2002 (NAICS) in 2005 as compared to the use of the Standard Industrial Classification in previous versions of the survey. Differences in industry definition may result in a break in the comparability between the different time periods.
  2. Samples for the three components of the survey (manufacturing, mining and thermal-electric power producers) were designed separately and independently for the 2005 version of the survey. The thermal-electric power component was a census, while the manufacturing and mining components of the survey used a stratified, simple random sample design. In previous versions of the survey, the samples were selected more subjectively.
  3. An "edit and imputation" system was designed specifically for the 2005 version of the Industrial Water Survey by Statistics Canada methodologists, allowing for the imputation of missing data and the production of estimates for the total population. In previous versions of the survey, the final estimates were a summation of the sampled data. No attempt was made to estimate for the un-sampled portion of the population.

Manufacturing industries

Intake water – Sources, purpose and treatment

Total water intake by Canadian manufacturing industries in 2005 was 5,719.5 million cubic metres. As indicated in Chart 1, five industries accounted for over 92% of the 2005 total intake. At 44.8% of the total, the largest quantity of water withdrawal was made by the paper industries followed by the primary metal industries at 27.7. Significant withdrawals were also made by the chemical industries at 8.7% of the total, the petroleum and coal industries at 6.2% and the food industries at 5.2%.

Regionally, Ontario manufacturers accounted for 46.8% of the total water intake while Québec took another 22.1%. Manufacturers in British Columbia had a share of 16.6% of the total water intake by the manufacturing industries and the Prairie Provinces registered 13.1% of the total. Water intake by manufacturers in the Atlantic accounted for 7.5% and the Territories took less than 0.1%.

Water drawn by manufacturers from the Great Lakes basin accounted for 38.2% of total water intake while manufacturers withdrew another 14.0% from the St. Lawrence River basin. Water withdrawn from the Pacific Coastal basin represented 7.6% of total water intake and water from the Fraser-Lower Mainland basin, another 5.1%.

Direct surface freshwater (i.e. rivers, lakes, etc.) withdrawal was the source of 82.0% of manufacturers' water supply while another 10.8% was delivered from public utilities (many utilities also source their supply from surface freshwater). The paper industries accounted for 50.0% of the surface freshwater withdrawals and the primary metals industries took another 31.8%. Significant water intake from surface freshwater was also made by the chemical industries (8.6%) and the petroleum and coal industries (5.5%). Over one-third of all water intake from municipal sources by all manufacturers was taken by the paper industries (21.3%) and the food industries (17.5%).

Water intake in Ontario was responsible for 51.2% of the total surface freshwater withdrawals. Another 20.8% of surface freshwater withdrawals came from Québec and 16.2% were withdrawn in British Columbia.

Process water was the largest initial use of water, accounting for 48.2% of total intake. Cooling, condensing and steam generation accounted for another 44.5% of intake, with sanitary and other uses making up the balance. The paper industries used 69.0% of their water for processing and 28.5% for cooling, condensing and steam generation. The food industries used 58.6% of their water intake for processing. The other three major water-using industries (primary metals, petroleum and coal and chemical) used most of their new water for cooling and condensing purposes.

Many manufacturing establishments need to treat their water before it can be used in their processes or for cooling, condensing or steam generation. Often they must use several treatment processes, such as screening, followed by filtration and chlorination, prior to using the water. This can result in the same intake water being counted several times for each treatment type, which must be kept in mind when examining Table 4.

Tables

Table group 1   Characteristics of water use in manufacturing industries, by water use parameter, 2005

Table 1-1 Industry group

Table 1-2 Provinces and territories

Table 1-3 Major river basins

Table 2Water intake in manufacturing industries, by month and industry group, 2005

Table group 3   Water intake in manufacturing industries, by source, 2005

Table 3-1 Industry group

Table 3-2 Provinces and territories

Table 3-3 Major river basins

Table 3-4 Purpose of initial use and industry group

Table 4   Intake water treatment in manufacturing industries, by type of treatment and industry group, 2005

Water recirculation

In this survey, water recirculation is defined as the process of using the same water more than once by the facility. The water must leave a system or sub-system and re-enter it or be used in a different sub-system. The recirculation of water reduces the need for the facility to take in "new" water.

The 2005 survey indicates 3,164.1 million cubic metres of water was reported as recirculated water. The primary metals industry accounted for 38.6% of this volume of recirculated water. The paper industries reported recirculation volumes representing 30.9% of the total and the petroleum and coal industries had another 15.8% share of the total.

The recirculation rate for manufacturing (recirculated water as a percentage of intake) stood at 55.3%. The petroleum and coal industries indicated a recirculation rate of 139.8% (the same water may be recirculated many times, resulting in recirculation rates > 100%) while the primary metals industries had a recirculation rate of 77.2%.

Tables

Table group 1   Characteristics of water use in manufacturing industries, by water use parameter, 2005

Table 1-1 Industry group

Table 1-2 Provinces and territories

Table 1-3 Major river basins

Table 5   Water recirculation in manufacturing industries, by purpose and industry group, 2005

Wastewater – Treatments and points of discharge

Total water discharged by manufacturers was 5,069.4 million cubic metres. Most of this water (85.8%) was discharged to surface freshwater bodies and to public/municipal sewers (8.7%). The balance was discharged to tidewater, groundwater or other points. The manufacturing industries discharging the most water were the same industries that withdrew the most water (paper industries, primary metals industries, chemical industries, petroleum and coal industries and food industries). This also holds true when looking at the distribution of water discharge by geographic location in that the Great Lakes basin, the St. Lawrence River basin and the Pacific Coastal basin not only saw the largest water withdrawals, but also the largest discharges.

Respondents were asked to report only the highest level of treatment their discharge underwent. This was done in order to eliminate double-counting of water that underwent more than one treatment type and to highlight the most advanced treatment. Of the water discharged by manufacturers, 30.5% was not treated before being released. The most advanced level of treatment for 16.1% of the total discharge was primary treatment while 45.5% of the total effluent underwent secondary or biological treatment as its highest level of treatment before discharge. Only 8.0% underwent tertiary or advanced treatment.

The paper industries accounted for 48.0% of the total water discharged by manufacturers. Almost 94% of their discharge went to surface freshwater bodies and almost 85% of their discharge underwent secondary or biological treatments. The primary metals industries were responsible for another 26.6% of the total water discharged by manufacturers, and like the paper industries, almost 94% of their effluent was discharged to surface freshwater bodies. Of this discharge, 42.5% was not treated, 24.9% underwent primary or mechanical treatment and 32.7% underwent either secondary or tertiary treatments.

Tables

Table group 1   Characteristics of water use in manufacturing industries, by water use parameter, 2005

Table 1-1 Industry group

Table 1-2 Provinces and territories

Table 1-3 Major river basins

Table group 6   Water discharge in manufacturing industries, by discharge point, 2005

Table 6-1 Industry group

Table 6-2 Provinces and territories

Table 6-3 Major river basins

Table group 7   Water discharge in manufacturing industries, by treatment type, 2005

Table 7-1 Industry group

Table 7-2 Provinces and territories

Table 7-3 Major river basins

Water consumption

Water consumption (intake minus discharge) provides an indication of the amount of water lost during production, most commonly through the incorporation of water into the products or through evaporation. The consumption rate expresses this consumption as a percentage of water intake.

In 2005, water consumption for manufacturing industries was estimated at 650.1 million cubic metres or 11.4% of the total water intake of 5,719.5 million cubic metres. The primary metals industries were the largest consumers of water at 234.9 million cubic metres or 36.1% of the total consumed water. Paper industries and chemical industries were also significant consumers at 20.4% and 20.3% respectively. However, when examining the consumption rates of the different industries, the non-metallic minerals industries ranked highest. Their consumption of 21.0 million cubic metres of water resulted in a consumption rate of 32.9%.

Tables

Table group 1   Characteristics of water use in manufacturing industries, by water use parameter, 2005

Table 1-1 Industry group

Table 1-2 Provinces and territories

Table 1-3 Major river basins

Water costs

Total water costs in the manufacturing industries were $2,321.1 million. The 2005 survey collected cost information on the acquisition of water, on the treatment of intake water before use, on wastewater treatments and on costs related to the recirculation of water and is illustrated in Chart 2. Excluded from the determination of water costs were capital costs or depreciation of self-supplied water acquisition facilities. The costs of water acquisition were defined to include amounts paid to public utilities for water, amounts paid to provincial or territorial ministries for a licence to take water and for operation and maintenance costs incurred in the upkeep of self-supplied water acquisition facilities. The cost of wastewater treatment was defined as the operation and maintenance costs of in-house treatment, though it may include sewer surcharges by the public utilities.

The cost of water acquisition in 2005 was $1,212.6 million. The largest portion of the acquisition costs was attributable to operation and maintenance costs, which accounted for 74.8% of the total costs. Payments to public utilities were responsible for another 25.0% of the total acquisition costs while licensing fees contributed only 0.2% of the total.

At the national level, water acquisition was responsible for 52.2% of the total water costs. However, acquisition costs in Ontario accounted for 72.2% of total water costs in that province. This proportion was significantly higher than the other provinces. If the cost data for Ontario is removed, the ratio of acquisition costs to total water costs in manufacturing industries for the rest of the country was only 24.3%.

Costs for treatment of intake water before it was used totalled $286.3 million. Over 64% of these costs were borne by the four dominant users of water, with the petroleum and coal industries paying 28.9% of the total, chemical industries at 16.9%, primary metal industries at 11.8% and food industries spending 6.7% of the total costs for treatment of intake water.

The costs related to the recirculation of water were $266.3 million in 2005. The paper industries spent $78.7 million on the recirculation of water and the primary metals industries spent $46.9 million.

The total 2005 cost of wastewater treatment was $555.9 million. Of this total, the paper industries spent $267.3 million or 48.1% of the total. The primary metals industries spent $68.2 million or 12.3% of the total and the food industries accounted for $62.3 million or 11.2% of the total spent on the treatment of water discharge. The chemical industries spent $56.0 million or 10.1% of the total.

Tables

Table group 8   Water acquisition costs in manufacturing industries, 2005

Table 8-1 Industry group

Table 8-2 Provinces and territories

Table 8-3 Major river basins

Table group 9   Total water costs in manufacturing industries, by cost component, 2005

Table 9-1 Industry group

Table 9-2 Provinces and territories

Table 9-3 Major river basins

Mining industries

Total water intake by the mining industries surveyed in 2005 was 456.0 million cubic metres, with most of this water (75.9%) being withdrawn by the metal mines. When this volume of intake water is combined with the 1,998.1 million cubic metres of water recirculated by the mining industries, gross water use was 2,454.1 million cubic metres. The recirculation rate for the mining industries was 438.2%. Total discharge was 624.4 million cubic metres of water. This quantity of water is larger than the volume of intake because of the necessity for many operators to de-water their mines of groundwater in order to carry out their operations. As a result, water consumption is not calculated as the arithmetic formula to calculate consumption (discharge minus intake) would yield a negative number.

The source for most of the water intake by the mining industries (76.2%) was self-supplied surface freshwater. Another 19.2% of the intake was sourced from groundwater. Process water, at 82.3% of the total intake, was the major use for water in the mining industries. Water used for cooling, condensing and steam only accounted for 8.1% of the intake water. Sanitary service and other uses accounted for the balance of the intake.

Of the 624.4 million cubic metres of wastewater effluent, 71.5% was discharged to surface freshwater bodies. Another 15.9% was sent to tailing ponds with most of that volume (76.6%) originating with the metal mines. Discharge to groundwater accounted for 8.5% of total discharge. Of the total discharge, 61.1% was not treated before leaving the operation. Primary or mechanical treatment was the highest level of treatment for 29.8% of the water discharged by the mining operations. Of the remaining discharges, 4.4% underwent secondary or biological treatments and 4.7% tertiary or advanced.

Total costs for water in the mining industries were $171.9 million. Water acquisition accounted for 26.4% of these costs and costs associated with the recirculation of water were responsible for another 36.2% of the total cost. Treatment costs for intake water were 11.8% of the total and treatment of effluent was 25.6% of the total.

Tables

Table 10   Selected characteristics of water use in mineral extraction industries, by water use parameter and industry group and region, 2005

Table group 11   Water intake in mineral extraction industries, 2005

Table 11-1 Month and region

Table 11-2 Source and industry group and region

Table 11-3 Type of treatment

Table 11-4 Purpose of initial use and industry group and region

Table group 12   Wastewater discharge in mineral extraction industries, 2005

Table 12-1 Final treatment and discharge point

Table 12-2 Final treatment and region

Table 12-3 Discharge point

Table 13   Water acquisition costs in mineral extraction industries, by industry group and by region, 2005

Table 14   Total water costs in mineral extraction industries, by region, 2005

Thermal-electric power producers

Producers of thermal-electric power were the largest users of water in the industrial sectors covered by this survey. Total water withdrawals were 27,825.1 million cubic metres which, when combined with recirculated volumes of 4,105.9 million cubic metres of water, resulted in gross water use of 31,931.1 million cubic metres of water. Of the total water intake, 86.7% came from surface freshwater bodies and 99.2% of the intake was used for cooling, condensing and steam. Total discharge of water was 27,108.7 million cubic metres, of which 88.3% went to surface freshwater bodies. Most of this water (76.3%) was not treated before discharge.

Total costs of water for the thermal-electric power generators were $93.5 million with 41.0% of these costs used for the acquisition of the water. Treatment of intake water before use accounted for 34.2% of the total costs and recirculation of water another 19.5% of the total costs. Costs related to the treatment of water before discharge were responsible for the remaining 5.3% of the costs.

Tables

Table 15   Selected characteristics of water use in thermal-electric power generation, 2005

Table group 16   Water intake in thermal-electric power generation, 2005

Table 16-1 Month and region

Table 16-2 Source, type of treatment, purpose of initial use

Table 17   Water discharge in thermal-electric power generation, by discharge point and final treatment, 2005

Table 18   Water acquisition costs in thermal-electric power generation, 2005

Table 19   Total water costs in thermal-electric power generation, by region, 2005