Nature-based water management solutions rely on natural mechanisms (underground retention, creation of wetlands and floodplains, etc.) that offer a new, more sustainable future. Whether by creating territorial ecosystems, using living organisms to treat water or measure its quality, recovering nutrients from wastewater to fertilize crops, or restoring marine biodiversity by building artificial reefs, every day Veolia swings into action to protect water resources.
A quick – but not exhaustive – look at some of the Nature-Based Solutions implemented by the Group:
→ In Denmark, the Billund plant is the forerunner for tomorrow’s bio-refinery: it uses micro-organisms to remove pollution from wastewater, and produces biogas, biofertilizers and bioplastics from the sewage sludge.
→ In Belgium, Veolia uses tadpoles and fish larvae to detect endocrine disruptors in wastewater treatment plant effluent in order to prevent their discharge into the environment.
→ In Durban, South Africa, Veolia recycles 98% of the SWTW treatment plant's wastewater. Once treated, wastewater is sent to local industries for use in production processes.
Recycling water for industrial use reduces the amount of water taken from the environment, thereby allowing freshwater resources to be used to produce drinking water: an additional 47,000 m3 of drinking water a day - equivalent to 13 Olympic-size swimming pools - is now available to the city’s residents.
This circular economy loop, like all those that Veolia creates within local areas, takes its inspiration from natural ecosystems. Synergies are developed between the ecosystem’s actors, the waste from one becomes a resources for others.
→ To restore marine biodiversity in Cap Sicié in the Toulon bay area artificial reefs formed using fiberglass and epoxy resin rods have become new ecosystems for fauna and flora.
→ In the United States in Milwaukee, Veolia produces 50,000 tonnes of compost every year from the city's sewage sludge. This is used as a bio-fertilizer for the region’s green spaces.