Water management in the mountains: SUEZ supports local authorities to address ski resorts developments challenges

In mountainous regions, the performance of water resource management is a major challenge for the development of ski resorts. It impacts the general public hospitality, the natural ecosystem preservation and the snow conditions on the slopes. At the same time, the population of ski resorts varies significantly from season to season. For example, the population of Les Belleville (including in particular the Menuires and Val Thorens ski resorts) increases 17-fold every winter, from 3,000 to more than 50,000.

SUEZ offers concrete and innovative solutions, ranging from digital data processing, to the operation of high-performance facilities, that enable local authorities to cope with this situation, while protecting the appeal of their locality and conserving water resources.

With its experience in 21 ski resorts1 in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (region of France), the SUEZ Group has developed expertise specific to mountainous regions. Thanks to the management of the digital tool, VISIO near Lyon, a 360° supervision centre, specialised in the real-time management of water services and sanitation, and its operational know-how, SUEZ supports Les Belleville into the optimisation of its management of water resources in Les Menuires and Val Thorens ski resorts

SUEZ operates all along the water management chain, from the sourcing of raw water, to the production of drinking water and the treatment of wastewater. The Group supplies the 900,000 m3 of drinking water required by the ski resorts every winter. 

Through its various activities, SUEZ has developed expertise specifically tailored to meet the needs of the local authorities:  

  • A constant dialogue with the stakeholders (ski slope operators, tourist offices, local officials, ski lift operators, etc.), 
  • innovative methods for each of the sites (automated plants, remotely controlled operations, interconnection of the sites to cope with variations in volume due to the movements of tourists, etc.),
  • and VISIO, the high-performance digital control centre in Caluire-et-Cuire, near Lyon, that manages, remotely and in real time, the water of 21 ski resorts in the Alps.  

In an effort to stand out from the international competition, ski resorts have to strengthen their attractiveness, while also managing the seasonal influx of tourists that use their natural resources. André Plaisance, Mayor of Les Belleville: “Thanks to SUEZ’s concrete solutions, Les Menuires and Val Thorens ski resorts handle with high numbers of tourists, respecting our water resources. This efficient management contributes to the good reputation and the economic development of our ski resorts.”