The initial effects of climate change shown by water stress and flooding have been exacerbated by demographic pressure and growing urbanisation. The United Nations has warned us that by 2025, two thirds of the world's population will be living in regions facing water stress. Obtaining water supplies will represent one of the major challenges of the 21st century.
Innovating to ensure access to water for all
, gaining more with less. Whether the innovation is technical, social or economic, it represents the cornerstone of ensuring access to drinking water for all, and what's more, minor savings in water.
Innovation also means finding and developing alternatives to the use of fresh natural resources, such as recycling municipal or industrial wastewater, or recharging groundwater by infiltration or re-injection.
Furthermore, in addition to its over 900 researchers and 220 partnerships with research centres, Veolia has created innovation accelerators for start-ups, helping technologies to take off and facilitating their launch on the market.
Water and Towns, Solutions to Meet Global Changes
The Forum also provides an opportunity for Veolia to present a range of solutions to meet global changes.
As Antoine Frérot reiterated, "An interesting approach to speeding up local teams’ ability to master state-of-the-art technology is to invent it in cooperation with the client. At Veolia, we want to remain innovative, not on our own, but with our clients".
This is why Veolia co-constructs innovative solutions with its clients and partners in the region, with which the group works according to a logic focusing on close-knit circuits and local players. This approach limits the use of natural resources, particularly fossil fuels, which generate greenhouse gases. It helps to limit CO2 emissions and contributes to attenuation, adaptation and resilience strategies.
Meeting global changes also means developing and implementing new and effective economic models, as is the case, for example in Rialto in California or in the United Kingdom for Thames Water:
- In Rialto in California, Veolia improves productivity and the control of water and wastewater treatment costs with the contribution of capital from specialised funds and insurance companies, in order to renovate public infrastructures.
- In the United Kingdom, with Thames Water, Veolia optimises investment in the water infrastructures used by the operator. Veolia's expertise helps to improve the operator's performance.
2015: a Decisive Year for Water
This 7th World Water Forum in Korea, focusing on the implementation of the solutions adopted at the World Water Forum in Marseille in 2012, must integrate a particularly decisive international agenda for 2015 with the adoption of the sustainable development goals in New York in September and the attempt to reach a climate agreement in December at the COP21 in Paris.
The players from the water community, meeting in Korea, aim to focus the priorities of the Forum on these two targets:
- Grant a fully-fledged role to universal access to drinking water and water treatment within Sustainable Development Goals;
- Promote sector-based solutions and priorities in international negotiations, which will lead to an agreement in Paris in December.
Veolia, world leader in optimised resource management, wishes to actively contribute to achieving these targets.
Veolia Signs the Daegu Declaration on Water Governance
On Monday 13 April, Antoine Frérot signed the Daegu Declaration, aiming to support the OECD's principles on water governance and anchor its commitment in the Water Governance Initiative (WGI) launched by the OECD in March 2013 after the last World Water Forum in Marseille. Based on the claim that "water crises are often actually governance crises", several stakeholders in the water community – companies, local authorities, associations, organisations and individuals – wished to show their full support for these fundamental principles
Antoine Frérot also reiterated:
« Many examples can be cited showing that when political will and good governance have joined forces, the money required to fund the infrastructure that secures water supply and provides water to all has always been found ».
Veolia - Partner of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for the Mediterranean
At the Mediterranean session on water management, Antoine Frérot confirmed his support for the works of the Mediterranean Water Think Tank (WTT), in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
 The Mediterranean Water Think Tank is an initiative launched by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul in March 2009, in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training And Research (UNITAR), Plan Bleu, the International Office for Water and the Veolia Foundation.