22 march 2014

Acting at the forefront of water and energy to best serve vital needs

Two different fluids but intrinsically linked: Energy is consumed and disappears whilst water follows a permanent cycle and can be reused several times. Water can be stored, but cannot be transported easily over long distances, whilst electricity is stored with difficulty, but can be transported easily. However, the production of drinking water and energy are interdependent. There is no production of energy without water, and no clean water without energy.



Meeting the world's needs for drinking water and energy is a major challenge
Veolia journée mondiale de l'eau 2014
At a time when natural resources become scarcer whilst human needs rise, meeting needs in drinking water and energy in the world is a major challenge: even today, 780 million people do not have access to quality drinking water and 2.5 billion do not benefit from wastewater systems, whilst 1.3 billion individuals live without electricity. International estimations foresee world demand in electricity rising by 50% by the year 2050, and the need of water for electricity is projected to increase by 140%.
 
 
For Veolia, the challenge is triple. It is a question of developing access to these vital resources as well as preserving and renewing them in order to make them available to the greatest number of people, beyond social and geographical inequalities.
 
The scale of these challenges calls for an approach which is innovative, combined and circular, where the treatment of one resource contributes to the production of the other, or the surplus of some serves the needs of others. Their combined treatment also offers equally important synergies: biogas stemming from the decomposition of wastewater sludge supplies renewable energy, whilst the heat released by an industrial site can be recovered to supply the energy for a water production plant. Therefore, to economize, renew or valorize one of these resources is to do the same for the other. It is therefore essential to optimize the preservation and renewal of these fluids in order to satisfy needs at the same time as reducing natural resource extraction.
 
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Veolia accompanies cities and industries in more than 40 countries for the management, optimization and valorization of their water and energy resources. Through building local systems of circular economy with these partners, we contribute to a more sustainable and better shared use of these resources on a large scale.
 
For example, future wastewater treatment plants will be true biorefineries: they will produce clean water, they will produce energy instead of consuming it, they will make biofertilizers and bioplastics from organic matter which is contained in sludge. Already, thanks to the progress our teams have made, we know how to create energy-neutral wastewater treatment plants, which produce as much energy as they need; and we know how to produce bioplastics from wastewater.
 
Satisfying the water and energy needs for as many as possible is a requirement for people's well-being and for human development. Veolia and its local partners worldwide contribute solutions, incorporating resources and needs, for a sustainable and renewable application of resources.
 
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Secure water supply is secured and minimal impact
Approvisionnement en eau sécurisé, impacts minimisés
Marafiq, Saudi Arabia's leading water and electricity services operator, has chosen Veolia to design, build and operate for 10 years the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. Controlling the environmental impact is a major challenge.
 
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Provide citizens with good quality water supply 24/7
Fournir de l'eau de qualité en continu aux citoyens
In the state of Karnataka, India, the cities of Ilkal and Bijapur and the Indian Institute of Science—one of the country's most prestigious institutions of higher education, located in the state capital, Bangalore—have awarded Veolia a contract for their water supply service in 2013. The goal is to provide residents and students with a good quality supply 24/7, as compared with the few hours of access they currently have each week.
 
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A true biorefinery
Veritable bioraffinerie
A true biorefinery of the future, the new wastewater treatment plant in Billund will make it possible to treat wastewater whilst recovering energy, biofertilizers and bioplastics contained in the wastewater sludge.
 
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  • International estimations foresee world demand in electricity rising by 50% up to the year 2050.
  • As for the need of water for electricity, it should progress by 140% up to the year 2050.
  • Veolia accompanies cities and industries in more than 40 countries for the management, optimization and valorization of their resources in water and energy.
  • Veolia developps access to these vital resources, water and energy beyond social and geographical inequalities.