Stockholm World Water Week 2019: Veolia, provider of solutions for access to water and sanitation for all

In Stockholm, World Water Week (25-30 August 2019) ends after 5 days of debate and exchange on the theme of "Water for society - Including All": lack of clean water, decent toilets, pollution, drought and extreme weather events... Governments, businesses and civil society have a collective responsibility to build more inclusive societies: access to an adequate quantity and quality of water, is at the root of human and environmental security and essential to prosperity. Water is key to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs). Veolia, which participated in the discussions, presented several tried and tested solutions for providing access to water and sanitation for all.

WASH ("Water, Sanitation and Hygiene"): a polycentric approach to enable everyone to access water

States are responsible for access to water and sanitation, in particular through their decisions about water pricing and solidarity. But they are increasingly delegating implementation to local public officials who rely on various political and economic actors: in the end, resource management is moving towards a "polycentric" approach. Veolia supports communities in these approaches, whether in India, Bangladesh, Morocco, Ecuador, or France.

Sanitation for all through the circular economy

With the territories Veolia designs circular economy solutions. This is the case of the Nairobi slum in Kenya where one million people live: as part of its partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition, the Group has identified start-ups capable of deploying large-scale sanitation access solutions. One of them is based on breeding fly larvae on waste – the larvae are recovered in the form of protein intended for use in livestock farming or as fertilizer by local agriculture.

The economic model for this sanitation solution for all is viable. It involves building 25,000 toilets and collecting waste in containers. This phase requires funding through social impact bonds that measure social and health impacts. This model costs $10 per person per year, compared to $50 for traditional sanitation approaches. Investors such as the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation could provide earmarked funds to a country's government. The project could be rolled out over 3 to 5 years.
Marc Delaye
Veolia Senior Executive Vice President, Development, Innovation & Markets

Protecting water and the oceans: global plastic recycling solutions

The world is now aware of the impact of plastic waste on marine ecosystems. The development of the plastic circular economy on a global scale is a solution that will protect the oceans but also requires real political determination, economic incentives and industry commitment. The “Alliance to End Plastic Waste” in particular, of which Veolia is a founding member, mobilizes multinational companies that pledge to invest $1 billion over the next five years in fighting plastic pollution. For example the project “STOP” targets zero plastic waste in the environment while creating new local jobs.

Ensuring access to water for the most disadvantaged households

In Guayaquil (Ecuador), Veolia and the city have improved the management of trucks that provide drinking water to the 120,000 inhabitants in the Monte Sinai slum – which is not connected to the drinking water system.

The first two months of operation introduced more and shorter trips, and increased the number of daily deliveries for each water tank by 75%, with a lower price and better service. The price of water has been reduced by 25% from $1.00 to $0.75 for 250 litres. The times of arrival for the tanker trucks are indicated on a mobile app.
Frédéric Certain
Veolia CEO in Ecuador

The region of Tangier (Morocco), with 575,000 inhabitants in 2002, combines strong population growth (+ 4.4% / year) and limited access to water supply (only 72% of the population). The neighbourhoods of the most disadvantaged populations were not served. The city therefore committed to rolling out access to water and sanitation services for all residents.

The social connection program has made it possible to achieve an access rate in 2018 of over 99% of the population. The engagement of local elected officials allows for a dialogue with citizens, the operator manages performance, and NGOs support newly connected inhabitants. The project has been recognized as part of the Kingdom's National Initiative for Human Development.
Naoufal Salama
Veolia Contractual and Legal Director in Morocco

Social and community entrepreneurship: necessary support 

In 2013, Delhi (India) entrusted Veolia with the development of the water supply in Nangloi, which has a population of one million, 30% of whom live in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Experience shows that the switch to tap water available 24 hours a day requires social support: Veolia therefore launched "Pop Up India", a social incubator to select players able to support newly connected inhabitants. The selected incubator deploys its services to 9,000 households in Nangloi and will be extended across the entire region.

In Aguascalientes (Mexico), Veolia provides 280,000 inhabitants with drinking water, 80% in disadvantaged areas: in association with the "Tlanemani" women's foundation, Veolia launched the "Women Partners" social program, intended to help customers in debt. The aim is to improve customer service by supporting the empowerment of women in the communities.

The women employed visit residents in their neighbourhood and offer them options to sort out payment for water. A "social insurance plan" for highly indebted users will soon offer price reductions. The Women Partners' community entrepreneurship develops inclusive economic development of the water service.
Jorge Perales
Veolia Deputy Sales Director in Mexico