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News // Inogen's unique global Integrated Water Management (IWM) Team, explained...

Date // 9th April 2014

Inogen's unique global Integrated Water Management (IWM) Team, explained...

"Inogen's one-stop-shop approach for managing all aspects of water usage for our global clients, is a unique and highly effective way of working" 

- Dirk Muenstermann, (Head of Water Department, Inogen Associate, HPC).

Integrated Water Management; (IWM); means putting all of the pieces together such that social, environmental and technical aspects are considered holistically. Starting in the 1990's, the methodology around IWM was developed via various academic and practical studies and used as the preferred approach to large scale water related issues for the present and future.

Following these studies, policy and regulation has been introduced around the world.  E.g. in Europe, the Water Framework Directive; (WFD), was established in 2000.  In the course of the WFD, tools such as the water footprint or water stewardship concept has been developed and established, but all such tools only cover part of the whole story.

INOGEN has established an IWM expert team and have developed a tool to support clients regarding integrated water management with a holistic approach.

‘INOGEN IWM' is the complete audit-to-operations approach for sustainable water use.  The IWM process identifies the expert services required for long-term sustainable solutions, improving profitability and environmental performance, recognizing that the financial cost of water is not only related to consumption but also includes, infrastructure, storage, transport, treatment, losses, energy, tax and compensation.

INOGEN IWM is a multi-tool developed to support Inogen clients throughout the whole water cycle.

Inogen Expertise Matrix (Excerpt)

INOGEN IWM provides services starting from the development of a new source such as a production well or the intake from a municipal supplier, considers the transport pathways from the source to the production facility, the treatment of intake water, looks at storage solutions, identifies water use within production processes and water saving options, improves water treatment measures and checks for the potential of re-use, recycling or replenishment of water throughout the whole production process.

Figure 1 (below) - Shows the water cycle from water production to wastewater treatment and options for re-use.

Like water in the hydrogeological cycle, INOGEN IWM does not stop at national borders.  A highly knowledgeable force of water experts make up the Inogen IWM team from regions all over Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America and Australia.  Inogen thus are able to find corporate solutions for companies playing on a global level, considering the specific requirements in the different operating countries as well as improving the water performance of a local bottler or chemical production plant. 

INOGEN IWM is structured by six main topics:

  • Groundwater exploration and data management
  • Site assessments and training
  • Well design, groundwater hydraulics and modelling
  • Water housing and distribution systems
  • Water construction and infrastructure
  • Waste water and sewage systems

 Some of the projects currently being worked on by the Inogen IWM team are as follows:

OMV's Resourcefulness concept

1. OMV Water Management strategy

OMV is an integrated, international Oil and Gas Company and a signatory to the UN Global Compact.  The UN Global Compact is an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation. It is a principle-based framework for businesses, stating ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. OMV has a clear commitment to use natural resources including water efficiently and to minimize impacts on water bodies. Therefore water management has been identified as one core topic for eco-efficiency within OMV's sustainability concept Resourcefulness". Inogen associate Denkstatt (Austria) together with Antea Group (Netherlands) are working on a solution for OMV including review of water policy, assessment of risks and opportunities, water data management, definition of water key performance indicators and development of a tailor-made water strategy for OMV. 

Surface runoff catchment, treatment and replenishment

 2. Walloon Public Services – Benchmarking mitigation of effects of soil sealing*

*(The covering of the soil surface with impervious materials as a result of urban development and infrastructure construction)

Inogen Associate Antea Group (Belgium) won a public tender from Walloon Public Services regarding benchmarking storm water management and measures to limit or mitigate effects of soil sealing.  The Walloon region of Belgium does not have an integrated policy and strategy on storm water management and artificial soil sealing. The aim of the benchmarking study is to list methods and measures used by other countries and regions of Europe and to compare the legal background. Using the expertise of the local Inogen Associate, the according information can be collected in the same manner on a global basis.

3. Sustainable water use for retail drink bottler in Brazil

In 2013, Inogen Associates Antea France and Angel Ambiental in Sao Paolo, performed a project on sustainable water use for a soft drink bottler in Brazil. The Inogen network was the catalyst bringing together specific technical expertise, local knowledge and close industrial relationships.

4. Improved water treatment system for biggest manufacturer of baby food/mineral water
The largest manufacturer of baby food and mineral water producer in Russia asked Inogen Associate HPC for help because of sporadic problems with smells in bottled mineral water, resulting in disposal of affected batches and big risks for sales.

Production well, several 100 meters deep

During a diligent site inspection, including examination of relevant documents (all in Russian language) and water analysis it became clear the main problem was the water treatment, which, although quite new, had significant flaws in its design. 

Inogen's international team of experts in water treatment are now preparing for detailed investigations and development of a new concept for an improved water treatment system for the client, giving a major financial benefit through significantly reduced treatment & maintenance costs and safer production facilities.

 5. Implementation of the European Water Stewardship  (EWS) Standard
In 2013, HPC conducted pre-screenings on the new EWS standard eight bottling plants of an international soft drinks producer. The pre-screenings were done in order to prepare the sites for certification showing sustainable water use at the plant with minimized risks for the environment and other users situated within the river basin.

A modern water treatment facility

During 2014, HPC will perform such pre-screenings for another 15 – 16 bottling plants throughout Europe.  The client intends to certify all their 120 bottling plants within Europe to the new EWS standard by 2020. This initiative started in Europe but there are already global initiatives, e.g. by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), copying this approach. Inogen will be prepared to support them on a global level.


The five examples shown above are exactly the kind of projects where detailed knowledge ‘outside the box' is important. This means, our customers can use Inogen as a one-stop shop for all aspects of water use.

-Dirk Muenstermann,


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