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Create new water resources

As population grows and urbanization continues, the pressure on water resources is mounting. SUEZ is addressing this issue by developing innovative solutions, like the artificial aquifer recharge, desalination and the reuse of waste water.

Challenges

Preserve water resources

Save water resources
Limit the quantities drawn from water tables
Harnessing new resources to produce drinking water
Our innovations

Artificially recharge underground reserves to protect the water tables

More than two billion people rely on water tables for their drinking water. Every year, almost 1,000 km3 are drawn worldwide. These rising needs are combined with the over-exploitation of certain water tables, demanding the development of new solutions to control and recharge underground water reserves.

Fighting water shortages by replenishing the water tables
With geofiltration, SUEZ has developed a perfectly environmentally-friendly water filtration process for artificial aquifer recharging  that does not require any chemicals.

Better fighting the water shortages 

The town of Hyères les Palmiers in the south of France is regularly affected by droughts, and must also cope with a sharp rise in demand for drinking water in the holiday season. The town’s water tables have been over-exploited, and the volume of fresh water continued to decline, even dropping below sea level. As a consequence, salt water levels progress, mixing with the fresh water.
The solution to prevent these intrusions consisted of 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. Artificial recharge is currently being tested. A solution that restores the level of the water table and avoids intrusions, keeping the water suitable for all usages.

Geofiltration: an ecological purification process

SUEZ has developed a perfectly ecological geofiltration water filtration process that does not require any chemicals. Its application to Gallardon lake in France is one remarkable example. Water is taken from the River Seine’s alluvial groundwater, is then oxygenated and pumped into the lake. It is then naturally infiltrated from the lake to the water table. The transfer from an oxygenated medium to an oxygen-poor medium naturally purifies the water by eliminating almost all the elements, such as iron, manganese, ammonia and nitrates.

Using renewables to desalinate seawater

In Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, SUEZ has taken up the challenge of desalinating seawater to produce drinking water using the renewable energies. The Group has been tasked with the design, construction and operation of a pilot desalination unit that is unique worldwide.
Desalination plant-SUEZ-Abu Dhabi
“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

Retain 99.9% of the salt present in seawater

Reverse osmosis is a leading-edge technology developed and patented by SUEZ that retains more than 99.9% of the salt dissolved in water, using pressure effects. This performance is achieved using a membrane filter that retains salt molecules, whilst letting water molecules flow through. The fresh water is collected and then undergoes numerous tests before being distributed, while the salt is diluted, before being returned to the marine ecosystem.

200 million people all over the world will benefit from the application of this technology in 2016.

Inventing new seawater desalination technologies

In Masdar, Abu Dhabi, SUEZ has built an eco-energy pilot desalination unit for the Emirate’s future green city. The goal is to test and develop seawater desalination technologies that use 100% renewable energy sources, and solar energy in particular.

Once this research phase has been completed, the technologies will be implemented to allow the region’s desalination plants to achieve an energy performance that is higher than even the most sophisticated facilities currently in operation, and with a minimal environmental impact.

Designing more sustainable industrial water management processes

SUEZ is actively working with its various partners on the definition of new management processes for industrial water, along the lines of the E4Water project. This European consortium, which brings together 19 partners from the chemicals industry, specialists in water treatment, research centers and universities, was created to look into concrete environmental solutions.
SUEZ wastewater treatment plant
Through the E4Water project, SUEZ is working to find concrete environmental solutions for industrial clients to reduce their water use or energy consumption.

Reduce the global impact on the environment

E4Water’s ambition is to develop, test and validate new integrated approaches, methodologies and processes that improve the management of industrial water, in particular by recycling wastewater.
The goal for industry is to cut water consumption by 20% to 40%, aqueous discharges by 30% to 70%, energy consumption by 15% to 40% and the associated costs by up to 60%.

Define new industrial processes

SUEZ is engaged in this consortium in specific projects that bring together two of its industrial customers: Total Refining & Chemicals and Procter & Gamble. Robust industrial and control processes are starting to be widely recommended and deployed by certain manufacturers, who are most exposed to water stress.

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