New water management contract in the Val de Sambre (France): a connected region offering more services to the population
On Friday 29 September, Benjamin Saint-Huile, President of the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre Communauté d’Agglomération, and Bertrand Camus, CEO of SUEZ Eau France, signed the new water service management contract(1) that will come into effect in January 2018 for 12 years.
For the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre Communauté d’Agglomération, the new contract is an opportunity to modernise the governance of its water service by adopting a contractual model based on force account. This new management model guarantees greater transparency and a clear distribution of roles and responsibilities between the local authority and its service provider.
An innovative contract for inhabitants
Developing digital technology is one of the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre Communauté d’Agglomération priorities. This is the reason why the water service will become connected in January 2018, making full use of new technologies possibilities to offer a unique range of services to the population.
The 46,000 households serviced by SUEZ will gradually be equipped with connected meters that use “ON connect” technology. These water meters are “smart” thanks to a transmitter that provides access to consumption data in real time and offers a range of innovative services to help inhabitants and to transform their relationship with their water utility.
For the first time in France, SUEZ will offer all the services made possible by the “ON connect” solution:
real-time monitoring of consumption,
leak, over-consumption or frost alerts,
the possibility to manage water budgets and to adjust debits,
detailed diagnostics of hot water consumption to take water-saving measures.
Benjamin Saint-Huile pointed out: “We have had a high level of demand for this new contract, which puts users at the heart of an efficient service in terms of protection of resources, heritage and security. The agglomeration will have tomorrow the most connected water service in France.”
High ambitions for the performance of the service
Management and conservation of resources as a constant preoccupation of the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre Communauté d’Agglomération, SUEZ will develop new tools to maintain the quality of water resources and to break new ground in terms of network performance and the detection of leaks. The new contract sets a network efficiency target of 88% in 2030. This level of network performance will make the Val de Sambre one of the most efficient regions in France.
Furthermore, faced with strong demands for local presence, the water utility’s customer reception office in Maubeuge will be supplemented by branches in three town halls in Aulnoye-Aymeries, Jeumont and Hautmont. This initiative brings the water service closer to home and reduces the need for travel.
Taking action to rise to the region’s challenges
Employment is a major local issue. SUEZ is going beyond its core business and has committed to creating local jobs by developing a training course in the region in partnership with the AFPA (association for professional training for adults) and “Réussir en Sambre”. Trainees who complete the course will receive a qualification in pipeline construction, an activity offering numerous opportunities. In partnership with the local subcontractors, SUEZ will also welcome around 10 people on work-study programmes each year.
We feel proud that the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre Communauté d’Agglomération has put its faith in us. SUEZ is a local partner with strong roots in the regions. Our ambition is to help every one of these local authorities to rise to the challenges they face. In the Val de Sambre we face the challenges of digital technology, operational excellence and employment. We are ready for them.
Senior Executive VP Water Europe and CEO Water France
(1) SUEZ manages the water service in 18 of the 43 municipalities that make up the Maubeuge-Val de Sambre agglomeration: Feignies, Maubeuge, Rousies, Neuf-Mesnil, Hautmont, Saint Rémy du Nord, Pont sur Sambre, Bachant, Limont Fontaine, Berlaimont, Aulnoye Aymeries, Monceau Saint Waast, Louvroil, Ferrière la Grande, Recquignies, Boussois, Marpent, Jeumont.