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Satellite data processing to improve regional resilience

Press release: Research – Innovation. Paris, November 24, 2016 (279.3 KB)

63% of the world’s population will be facing water shortages by 2025*. The optimum management of water resources is therefore a real challenge. Veolia innovates each and every day to make water available where it is wanting, and provides resilient solutions for local authorities. Against this backdrop, Veolia Research & Innovation has undertaken a collaborative research approach, in particular, in partnership with SMEs and the academic world, in order to incorporate their solutions and develop new services for the resilient city.

An example of this is the SIRHYUS–Data service for the management and use of water resources–collaborative project that ran from 2012 until the end of 2015. It aims to develop a platform of services using Earth satellite observation data for water resource management: aquifers, catchment areas, and lakes and rivers. 

Approved by the WATER competition sector and co-funded under the FUI-12 (French Single Interministerial Fund), this project is an example of cooperation between two leading corporations–EDF and Veolia–research organizations–CNES (French space research center), IRSTEA (French institute of science and technology for the environment and agriculture) and CESBIO (French center for biosphere space studies)–and innovative SMEs–ACRI-ST and G2C, an engineering subsidiary of ALTEREO. The resultant consortium includes water cycle and urban services managers, researchers who have been working for many years on using space imaging, and engineers specializing in image processing and geographical data.

Innovation challenges  

Today, space observation provides considerable potential because of the free or paid access to Earth observation images and easier access to sources of data that are useful for the quantitative and qualitative management of water resources.

The challenge taken up by this project was to develop a platform to integrate satellite images and routinely generate and disseminate new high value added data for large water cycle managers.

Eight services ready to be industrialized

Upon completion of this project, eight innovative services had been developed and are now operational for the qualitative and quantitative tracking of underground water, catchment areas and lakes and rivers. They can, for example, produce data about water resources and water needs for crops, the water stored in snow cover or the quality of surface water (temperature, chlorophyll a, turbidity or presence of macrophytes).  

Another service, based on high-resolution mapping of ground use, is unique in its provision of diffuse pollution pressure indicators at the scale of a drainage basin, water basin or along a water course. Ready for market release, these services can be viewed on the website: (in French only)
*Source: BRGM – 2011


Since 1989, ACRI has been developing expertise that is unique in Europe incorporating satellite Earth observation and digital modelling in decision-aid simulators for regional development, environmental monitoring, natural risk management and adaptation to environmental changes. Combining scientific expertise and massive data processing capacity with qualified and geo-referenced environmental data, ACRI has become a major stakeholder in these rapid changes in geosciences to help citizens. In 2015, the ACRI group reported consolidated revenue of a little over €9.5 million and has an order book totaling more than €40 million.
Contact: Chrystè[email protected]

Since 1989, the ALTEREO group has focused on four areas: water, the environment, city and regions. Through its four subsidiaries, G2C ingénierie, G2C Territoire, G2C informatique and SFEC, with their 150 employees, ALTEREO operates in four areas of business: engineering, urban development and planning, water treatment and geographical intelligence systems, to provide local authorities with innovative solutions. In 2015, the ALTEREO group reported consolidated revenue of a little over €11 million. Contact: [email protected]

A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, and energy services. A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy, as well as having a major R&D division serving energy development. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.8 million customers, of whom 28.3 million in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of €75 billion in 2015, of which 47.2% outside of France. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and has 158,161 employees.
Contact : [email protected]

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 174 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2015, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 63 million people with wastewater service, produced 63 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 42.9 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25 billion ($30.3 billion) in 2015.


Veolia Group Media Relations
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Stéphane Galfré – Marie Bouvet
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[email protected]