Veolia Water

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Veolia Water
Industry Water supply, water treatment and sewage treatment
Founded 1853
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Jean-Michel Herrewyn (Chief Executive Officer)[1]
Revenue Increase€12.5 billion
Owner Veolia Environnement
Number of employees
Subsidiaries Proxiserve
SEDE Environnement
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies
Slogan ""

Veolia Water (formerly Vivendi Water, originally Générale des Eaux), is the water division of the French company Veolia Environnement and the world's largest supplier of water services.

Veolia has water operations in 66 countries across the globe, employing 95,789 workers worldwide and serving completely or partly about 64 metropolitan areas with more than 139 million inhabitants. It is strongest in Europe, particularly in its native France and Germany. Its biggest competitor is Suez Environnement.

In 2009, the group posted revenues of €12.56 billion.[2] Of this, 72.9% of turnover comes from Europe; 7.4% from the Americas, 8.5% from Africa, Middle East and India, and 11.2% from the Asia-Pacific region.[3]


The Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE) was created in 1853. In 1889, its first research laboratory was established at 52, rue d’Anjou in Paris, France. Veolia Water’s headquarters are still located at this site.

1918 saw the creation of the SADE (Société Auxiliaire des Distributions d'Eau), specialising in water networks and the delivery of drinking water. In 1953, construction began on a Veolia water treatment facility at Clay Lane, near London; by 2001, it was the world’s largest ultrafiltration plant, supplying water to 750,000 people in the city.

Veolia Water’s humanitarian crisis response team, Waterforce, was created in 1998, prompted by Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and the flooding of the Yangtze River in China.

In 2002, Veolia Water expanded its municipal water services in 2002 to major cities such as Indianapolis (USA), Bucharest (Romania), Berlin (Germany) and Shanghai (China). Three years later, Veolia Environnement united its four global divisions (Environmental Services, Energy, Transport and Water) under the Veolia brand. The CGE became Veolia Water.[4]

The UK water supply businesses branded as Veolia Water were sold by Veolia Environnement for £1.2 billion on 28 June 2012 to Rift Acquisitions, an entity established by Morgan Stanley and M&G Investments. Veolia Environnement is using the proceeds of the disposal to reduce its debt, as part of a 5bn-euro debt-reduction programme announced in December 2011 and will retain a 10% stake in the new business Affinity Water for at least five years.[5][6] Affinity Water began operations on 1 October 2012.


Veolia Water’s activities can be grouped into two main areas: providing clean drinking water, and collecting and treating waste water / sewerage water.[7]

Drinking water[edit]

Veolia Water sources water from the environment (surface water deposits, rivers and subterranean aquifers); treats it to ensure it is drinkable; provides safe and clean piping and storage; and distributes it to populations. Veolia Water supplies nearly 95 million people around the world with drinking water.[8]

Waste water treatment[edit]

A sewage treatment plant in Portugal

Veolia Water collects and then treats water in line with national and international regulations. Different treatments are provided depending on the level of pollution. Afterwards, the water re-enters the water cycle. Veolia Water delivers water treatment services to 68 million people around the world and, as of 2009, it managed 3,229 municipal water treatment plants.[9]

In October 2010, Veolia Water was contracted to rebuild a waste water treatment plant in Lille (France) in a project that will ultimately have the capacity to treat waste water from 620,000 inhabitants in the region.[10] The company also secured the management of the Grand Prado treatment facility on the island of Reunion (France).[11]

Other services[edit]

Veolia Water also provides a number of additional technologies and services.

The company produces water for industrial processes, and offers treatment, heating, cooling and cleaning applications for industry.[12] In August 2010, Veolia Water was awarded the wastewater treatment contract for the Petrobras Papa Terra P63 offshore oil production project, located in the Campos Basin, off the coast of Brazil.[13]

Veolia has built 15% of the world’s desalination capacity.[14] Some estimates suggest that the global water desalination market will double in the period 2010-2016.[15]

Veolia Water offers two main technologies: reverse osmosis and thermal desalination. In reverse osmosis, water is passed through membranes under pressure; the membrane allows water to circulate, but captures the salts. During thermal desalination, water is vaporized in distillation chambers to separate out the salts it contains.[16]

Veolia Water also operates in alternative recycling markets. Water that is clean, but not purified for human consumption, is suitable for irrigation, industrial uses, and the injection and storage of water into underground aquifers after additional treatment.[17]

Veolia Water works to replenish subterranean aquifers, which are being exhausted through over-exploitation in some areas. Replenishment can be achieved with treated water of various kinds: surface water, rainwater and treated waste water.[18]

Sustainable development[edit]

Veolia Water works on reducing the environmental impact of water use through a number of strategies.

  • Saving water: reducing leaks in the system and managing consumption through systems such as water meters.
  • Protecting water resources: treating wastewater and preventing pollution, for example by avoiding discharge into aquifers.
  • Limiting the environmental impact of energy use: optimizing facilities, exploring water as a source of renewable energy. Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies has begun a carbon initiative to analyze the sources of customers' emissions and offer lower-carbon water treatment solutions.
  • Developing alternative resources: recycling treated water, recharging aquifers, desalinating seawater.[19]

In 2008, Veolia Water established Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd in partnership with the Grameen Bank, aiming to provide clean drinking water to 100,000 people in Bangladesh.[4]

Major subsidiaries[edit]

Veolia Water’s subsidiaries include:

  • SADE, which to builds and maintains water mains and water networks for delivering and distributing drinking water, and processing waste water.
  • Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies provides services to both local authorities and private industry, aiming to help them to reduce their environmental impact. In 2007 a Joint venture between Doshion Limited( A Water Solutions Giant in Gujarat, India) and Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies was signed, thus gave formation to Doshion Veolia Water Solutions. This turned out to be a bad venture which did not bring any benefits to Veolia's investors and the company's services.
  • Two engineering advisory agencies: Seureca (international) and Setude (France-focused). These agencies specialize in water management, water treatment and the environment.
  • Krüger A/S, Denmark (Annual renevue €177,000,000 (2008))[20]

Veolia Water also has joint subsidiaries with other Veolia divisions. With Dalkia, it has Proxiserve. This subsidiary offers a number of home-based or domestic solutions, including heating and water distribution systems. With Veolia Environmental Services, it has SEDE Environnement (management of waste sludge) and SIDEF (Services to Industry for the Treatment of Effluent).[21]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Key figures". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Key figures". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ a b "History". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Veolia sells UK water business for £1.2bn". BBC News Online. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Veolia cède son activité Eau Régulée au Royaume-Uni" (Press release) (in French). Veolia Environnement. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Our Solutions? water services and water treatment". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  8. ^ "Production and supply of drinking water". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  9. ^ "Wastewater treatment services". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  10. ^ "New wastewater treatment plant in France to be built, operated by Veolia". WaterWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  11. ^ "Veolia Water consortium awarded concession contract for Grand Prado wastewater treatment plant". Working With Water. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  12. ^ "Industrial water services". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  13. ^ "Veolia Water awarded contract for Petrobras P63 project (Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine)". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  14. ^ "Veolia Water : Business Overview 2009". Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  15. ^ "Desalination investment 'to double in six years'". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  16. ^ "Seawater desalination". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  17. ^ "Recycling wastewater". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  18. ^ "Aquifer recharge". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  19. ^ "Mission? Make water sustainable". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  20. ^ "Krüger A/S | Om os". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  21. ^ "Subsidiaries". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 

External links[edit]