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Securing Your Water Production in a Water Scarce World

Securing Your Water Production in a Water Scarce World

By Mark Dyson, Executive Vice President – Mobile Business, Veolia Water Technologies 

It is a common misconception that water scarcity only affects the planet’s drier regions. According to the United Nation’s World Water Development Report 2021, while the Asia Pacific region is home to 60% of the world’s population, it only has access to 36% of the world’s water resources, so the per capita water availability is the lowest in the world. Factors such as population growth, urbanization, and increased industrialization contribute to greater competition, and unsustainable water withdrawals have become a major concern.

In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) points out that water scarcity is emerging as a more immediate challenge than climate change in Asia and the Pacific region. The issue is driven by a range of demographic and economic pressures that increase water demand, and that is exacerbated by climate change.

Collectively, this presents a major risk to manufacturing businesses. The World Bank predicts that global GDP growth rates will fall 6% by the middle of the century due to increased competition for water. This, in turn, would result in costs of $2.5 billion for companies who are at the mercy of heightened water scarcity. Water issues are becoming highly material factors affecting the growth and profitability of companies, as they create material, physical, regulatory, and reputational risks.

Two of the main challenges that most manufacturers face is one of securing an adequate water supply (for what essentially is a water-intensive process) and one of ensuring water contamination is addressed at its source. 

Where water resources are diminished, there is typically a worsening of water quality as well, because there is less water to dilute pollutants. In addition, salt water increasingly intrudes into coastal aquifers. Climate change will almost certainly exacerbate these adverse impacts in the future, with more unpredictable cyclones, droughts, heatwaves, or monsoons expected across Asia Pacific. To circumvent any water-related problems, companies are implementing water conservation strategies, examining water reclaim and reuse opportunities, re-engineering their water-using processes, and investigating alternative water sources.

The concept of tapping on temporary water treatment systems is a well-established one to help companies meet urgent requirements. In times of emergency, such systems are a perfect solution that can sustain a continuous supply of treated water for all unanticipated scenarios, such as coping with short-term (seasonal or unexpected) changes to a facility’s raw water supply. Water solution providers like Veolia provide mobile water services that can be brought in to ensure that production or business processes can continue and avoid costly downtime.

Apart from tiding companies through crises, mobile water services can also be useful for manufacturers who prefer to lease. Longer term asset rental is now an increasingly attractive alternative to high upfront investment in permanent water treatment technology across many sectors. Tightening CAPEX budgets, an emphasis on business continuity, and a desire for flexible, affordable water management, are all factors that have generated a demand for mobile water treatment systems.

Operators across several industries around the world have already worked with temporary water treatment service providers to provide flexible solutions to issues arising from water scarcity and feedwater changes. Typical applications include treatment of high chloride and high conductivity, suspended solids, high microbiological, high organics, and alternative feed supplies.

An evolving solution

A typical mobile plant may consist of two or three skid-mounted systems that can be assembled in a plug-and-play fashion. The modular design of most mobile water services allows a variety of process configurations to be combined, making it possible to treat towns’ mains, borehole, river and reservoir water, and even wastewater resources. 

The containers’ portability also enables them to be positioned to make the best use of the available space, eliminating the need for building infrastructure to house any equipment. Any number of assets can be operated in parallel or in series to provide the required flow rate, and the system’s modularity allows additional components or treatment steps to be added — whether for extra functionality or increased throughput, even if it is only needed for a short period of time. 

Furthermore, storage tanks and pumps can be provided, along with interconnecting fixed pipework or flexible hoses, water meters, and fittings. And with mobile generators added to the mix, the system is capable of a completely standalone set-up. A final and perhaps most important consideration is that these modular units can be easily exchanged over time for the latest, most up-to-date technology, ensuring that a company’s water treatment systems remain at the cutting edge and benefit from the most cost-effective solution available.

Preparedness is key

There are numerous benefits that mobile water services can bring to utilities and industrial manufacturers facing the challenge of water scarcity. A distinct shift in outlook is necessary for companies to transition from being vulnerable to a shortfall of water, to being fully prepared in the face of this pressing issue. With over 160 years of experience and a comprehensive range of service offerings, Veolia is a trusted partner who can address the water and wastewater challenges that businesses face. The company’s Mobile Water Services can support businesses in financial planning, ensure business continuity, and help to maintain resilient and effective water treatment plants in a water scarce world.

To learn how Veolia can help optimize water treatment solutions for your operations, drop us an email at marcom.apac@veolia.com or visit https://www.anz.veoliawatertechnologies.com/contact-us/contact-form.

How Veolia’s Mobile Water Services drove success

Modular solutions mitigate drought impacts

A multinational oil and gas company faced a shortfall of water that could impact their production. Due to a persistent drought, the local water utility company had to limit the water supply to the company in order to secure the drinking water supply for the local population. As a result, additional raw water volumes from other sources were required so that the company’s power plant and processes could be adequately supplied. Due to the varying water quality, the different sources had to be treated accordingly. 

Veolia Mobile Water Services provided a mobile filtration unit MOFI 4×10 as sand filter, two mobile filtration units MOFI 1200 GAC with active carbon, and a mobile reverse osmosis unit MORO 25 C. For the oxidation of various ingredients as well as disinfection, a mobile dosing station with chlorine was used. By combining various mobile water systems, Veolia Mobile Water Services guaranteed the company’s water supply and met the required water specifications.

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About Veolia Water Technologies

Veolia Water Technologies provides the complete range of services required to design, deliver, maintain, and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities and systems for industrial clients and public authorities. The company’s extensive portfolio of technologies features everything from online diagnostic solutions to evaporation and crystallization, energy-producing sludge treatment, state-of-the-art desalination, laboratory-grade water and mobile water services. By optimizing both processes and monitoring, Veolia Water Technologies helps clients reduce their water footprint while generating considerable savings in energy and chemical consumption. www.veoliawatertechnologies.com 

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