The water you get from your tap does not spring out of the ground. It is taken from nature and then it must be treated to be drinkable. Water is taken from the natural environment, from streams, lakes and springs. It is then sent to water treatment plants where water is made fit for human consumption in accordance with very strict regulations.
Water is not available to everyone in an equitable fashion. Nonetheless, alternative solutions have been devised to provide supplies of water, as well as indirect production of drinking water by ground water recharge or through desalination of seawater or brackish water. With 40% of the world’s population living within 100 kilometres of the coast (a total of 2.4 billion people), desalination of seawater appears to be a lasting solution. Currently this method produces nearly 1% of drinking water in the world.
By means of major investment in research and innovation, SUEZ has contributed to the implementation of a proven desalination technology, filtration by reverse osmosis. This method retains dissolved salts in water and eliminates 99.9% of them.
In ten years, production costs from water have been reduced by one half and production capacity has doubled through the constant optimisation of reverse osmosis processes. This technology is an economically viable solution for both industrialised countries and for regions with scarce water resources.
Water is the most restrictively controlled of all commodities. In France, for water to be considered drinkable, it must meet 54 quality criteria outlined by the Ministry of Health on the basis of World Health Organisation recommendations.
SUEZ gives priority to producing drinking water of an irreproachable quality both through the implementation of standard treatment processes like sand filtration or more advanced technologies such as ultrafiltration.