Pierre-Yves Pouliquen, COO, Africa, Middle East and India, SUEZ - a key player in sustainable management of resources present in five continents - tells Sarika Malhotra about the pressing need for water management in India.
What are the challenges developing countries face with water treatment and management?
There are multiple challenges such as growing urbanisation, industrialisation, rising living standards, and the increasing pressure on water availability when the resources are becoming scarce. Also, protection of water tables and rivers from pollution caused by untreated wastewater or insufficient norms is a concern. India has recently strengthened the existing norms about the reject from wastewater plants. These imply huge investment programmes, both in potable and wastewater, rehabilitating existing water networks to compensate losses coming from leakage.
How do you customise solutions for India?
We developed Smart Management for water utilities - an advanced technique that enhances the overall delivery efficiency of the distribution system, saves energy (response time, cost and labour), and improves customer satisfaction, using GIS/GPS technology on a real-time basis. Helium Leak Detection for water utilities is another technique we developed that can detect invisible leaks, especially in networks made of non-metallic pipes, with low working pressure and intermittent supply.
How crucial is the Indian market for SUEZ?
India's water sector will grow significantly, with steady participation from private operators. Wastewater and solid waste management are emerging as key thrust areas here, as pollution control norms are becoming stringent, compelling companies and municipalities to adopt eco-friendly technologies. The solid waste management remains a challenge for local authorities. Clearly, industrial water must be treated and reused, and this should drive growth of demand for water treatment in the coming decade. ~