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Creating new water resources

Population growth and rapid urbanisation is placing ever-increasing pressure on water resources. We’re addressing this through developing innovative solutions such as artificial aquifer recharge, desalination and wastewater reuse technology.

Challenges

Preserving our water resources

Saving water resources
Control the quantities drawn from water tables
Harnessing new resources to produce drinking water
Our innovations

Artificially recharging underground reserves to protect our water tables

More than two billion people get their drinking water from water tables, with almost 1,000 km3 drawn from them worldwide each year. Certain water tables also suffer from over-exploitation. Our world demands new solutions to control and recharge our underground water reserves.
With geofiltration, SUEZ has developed an environmentally-friendly water filtration process for artificial aquifer recharging that does not require any chemicals.

©Suez_William Daniels

How we fight water shortages 

The town of les Palmiers in the south of France is regularly plagued by droughts, coupled with a sharp rise in demand for drinking water during the holiday season. The town’s water tables have been over-exploited and the volume of fresh water continues to decline – even dropping below sea level at times, causing salt water levels to increase and mix with fresh water. We’re solving this problem through artificial recharge: taking water from the Jean Natte Canal in the winter, when the level of the water is high, and re-injecting it into the water table when the water level is low. This restores the water table level and avoids intrusions, making high quality water accessible all year round.

Geofiltration: an ecological purification process

SUEZ has developed a unique ecological geofiltration water filtration process that doesn’t require any chemicals. At Gallardon Lake in France, the process allows water taken from the River Seine’s alluvial groundwater to be oxygenated and pumped into the lake, where it naturally moves to the water table. The transfer from an oxygenated medium to an oxygen-poor medium naturally purifies the water by eliminating almost all the harmful elements, such as iron, manganese, ammonia and nitrates.

Using renewables to desalinate seawater

SUEZ is a world leader in desalination technologies, developing new, more sustainable solutions to ensure access to drinking water in the some of the planet’s driest climates.
 

Inventing the next generation in seawater desalination technologies

In Masdar, Abu Dhabi, SUEZ has built an eco-energy pilt desalination unit – the world’s first – for the Emirates’ future green city. The research phase will test and develop seawater desalination technologies that use 100 per cent renewable energy sources, and solar energy in particular. Once implemented, the technologies will allow the region’s desalination plants to achieve an energy performance superior to the most sophisticated facilities currently in operation, and with minimal environmental impact.

“SUEZ tests and develops alternative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of desalination, to protect and sustainably manage the limited water resources, particularly in the Middle East”

Pierre PauliacCEO of SUEZ in Middle East

Leading the way in reverse osmosis desalination

Perennial drought poses a significant threat to natural water supplies, including reliable, high quality drinking water for our cities. Desalination is a responsible way of producing fresh water to meet this growing need. SUEZ operates and maintains two technologically advanced, award-winning desalination plants in Australia: the Victorian Desalination Project, producing 440 million litres of rainfall-independent water daily for around 4.5 million residents in Melbourne and regional Victoria; and the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, supplying more than 45 billion litres of fresh drinking water to the city’s two million residents each year.

Both plants utilise reverse osmosis, a leading-edge technology developed and patented by SUEZ that removes more than 99.9 per cent of the salt dissolved in water. Advance membrane filters retains salt molecules while letting water molecules flow through. The fresh water is collected and extensively tested before being distributed, while the salt is diluted before being returned to the marine ecosystem. In 2016, around 200 million people worldwide benefited from this technology.

Delivering safe drinking water for our nation's largest city

Prospect Water FIltration Plant
Prospect Water Filtration Plant provides up to 3,000 million litres of water each day for 85 per cent of Sydney's population

Ensuring safe, reliable drinking water for Sydney’s ever-growing population is a significant and evolving challenge. SUEZ’s Prospect Water Filtration Plant in Sydney’s west has met this need for more than two decades, providing up to 3,000 million litres of water each day for 85 per cent of the city’s population, serving around four million residents.

This advanced drinking water plant is environmentally friendly, with low power usage and minimal waste leaving the site. Exceptional operational efficiency and continuous improvement processes ensure the plant will ably meet expanding demand as Sydney continues to grow.

Designing a more sustainable industrial water management process

Together with our partners, we’re working to define new management processes for industrial water and find concrete environmental solutions for industrial clients to reduce their water use and energy consumption.

We're working with industry to reduce water consumption by 20 to 40 per cent.

Reducing the global impact on the environment

Under the E4Water project, SUEZ is an active player in a European consortium of 19 partners – from the chemical industry, specialists in water treatment, research centres and universities – working together to investigate applicable solutions. The project aims to develop and test new integrated approaches, methodologies and processes that improve the management of industrial water, particularly through wastewater recycling. We’re working to help industry meet the goal of reducing water consumption by 20 to 40 per cent, aqueous discharge by 30 to 70 per cent, energy consumption by 15 to 40 per cent and the associated costs by up to 60 per cent.

Defining new industrial processes

As part of a consortium, we’re working on projects that bring together two of our major industrial customers: Total Refining & Chemicals and Procter & Gamble. We’re working to recommend and deploy robust industrial and control processes for certain manufacturers most affected by water stress.

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