Veolia is developing solutions to help its municipal and industrial customers adapt to the new climate reality. These solutions include reusing wastewater, seawater desalination, flood management, developing local energy loops and combating urban heat islands.
New York University :
energy resilience and Hurricane Sandy
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New York causing a blackout over much of the city. New York University’s Langon Medical Center had to evacuate hundreds of patients in the middle of the night. 3 km away, the NYU Washington Square medical center was spared: 3 years earlier Veolia had installed a microgrid - a local energy network powered by a 13 MW heat and electricity cogeneration system. The goal was to provide cleaner, cheaper energy and secure the energy supply should the city network fail. NYU has since mandated Veolia to equip Langon with an identical microgrid system.
Nestle plant in Qingdao (China):
make water with milk to preserve the resource
Nestlé's Qingdao plant in China produces milk powder and dairy products in a highly water-stressed region. Veolia introduced the "Zero Water" project to help the site reduce its water consumption. Already proven in Mexico and South Africa, the solution consists of recovering and treating the process water on one hand and the "cow water" generated during milk processing on the other hand. Recycled wastewater is used for all the cooling and cleaning operations and for the industrial process. In the end, the plant has reduced not only its groundwater use by 500,000 litres per day but also the amount of wastewater discharged into the environment.
Offsetting urban heat islands:
when water cools cities
During heat waves, urban heat islands can develop with temperatures as much as 5 to 10°C higher than in the surrounding countryside. Veolia has developed specific solutions that help municipalities adapt. One consists of cooling roadways using an automatic humidification system. Another involves installing evaporation surfaces that are fed by rainwater. This solution has proved its effectiveness during summer temperature spikes, decreasing the apparent temperature by 5 to 8°C.