A close relationship exists between forest product industries and the water cycle. Water as a natural resource is assumed to be a necessary and vital element in pulp and paper manufacturing as well as power generation in the related power plants. The objective of the current study is to determine the main factors affecting water consumption in recycled paper manufacturing companies using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Several questionnaires and related tables were forwarded to selected recycled paper manufacturing companies to evaluate the water reduction criteria in different sectors including the manufacturing process, final product, raw material, human resources, costs and expenditures, environmental regulations and technical modifications. The results were analyzed using Expert Choice 2000 software. The results indicated that the final product criterion was ranked first followed by manufacturing process, human resources, costs and expenditures, environmental regulations and technical modifications, in that order. Also among alternatives, final product, cooling water network, and water storage tanks were categorized in the first three priorities. The specified priorities would assist managers and production experts to achieve optimal water consumption with the minimum possible cost.