What resource challenges might infrastructure face?
Airports, Ministry of Defence (MOD) estates, large industrial sites, hospitals and university campuses face particular challenges in water resourcing, management cost control and carbon/energy efficiencies.
By 2027, 5.7 billion passengers are expected to travel by air each year. This means more pressure on UK airports to seamlessly manage water supply and waste, with hubs in drought-prone areas of the south-east at greatest exposure to business continuity risks.
For the defence sector, the challenges relate to its 2040 objective of downsizing the managed estate by 30%, while also managing rising costs in energy and water. Automated, integrated sites or ‘smart bases’ will look to meet and exceed water and wastewater targets, including generating energy from wastewater and selling the surplus to the National Grid.
By adding an energy focus to smart metering, companies can not only pre-empt and avoid energy losses and water leaks, they can also offset their upfront investments. Submeters allow even more data to be gathered, reducing the risk of missed meter readings or late payment of bills, while monitoring energy and water consumption in compliance with regulations.
Do you have a challenge that could benefit from resource efficiency and circular economy thinking?
We work with clients that have their own private water and wastewater networks and facilities, taking full responsibility for maintaining and operating high pressure networks, monitoring quality and billing end users. This frees up our customers to focus on delivering their core business.
Our Hubgrade technology combines real-time monitoring and remote management with the support of a specialist technician.
Taking off: Luton and Edinburgh airports
Under a 20 year contract, we manage all water and wastewater services for Luton Airport. As well as running its physical water networks, we also manage the customer service and billing of around 100 tenants and meter points. All water and energy usage data is captured through Veolia's real-time, automatic metering system and applied to a GIS-based model. Unaccounted for water, including leakage, has been reduced from more than 40% to around 12%. Customer enquiries, complaints, technical support requests and emergency response have also improved.
Protecting Forres from flooding
We have taken on the day-to-day maintenance of £44 million flood alleviation scheme in Forres on the Moray coast of Scotland. Designed to withstand heavy rainfall events, it's already estimated to have avoided £27 million in flood damage, protecting residents, businesses and transport routes.
Making seawater drinkable for the MOD
Our seawater distillation plant provides the MOD in Gibraltar with a sustainable water supply that complies with environmental regulations, as well as their own strict security and reliability criterea. What's more, recovered energy has increased by 40% giving the MOD a significant cost saving.
Over the next ten years, strategic infrastructure organisations will need to take a holistic approach to managing their water networks in ways that keep costs down and taps flowing. This will involve continually optimising water management processes, reducing leakage and reviewing ways of using available resources more effectively and includes the use of grey water or potable water recovery and recycling. This will deliver the benefits of conserving water and will address energy use and maintenance requirements which directly impact cost and carbon emissions.
By thinking circular, strategic infrastructure will implement circular business models meaning waste will be a resource. Its value extracted and reinvested and water and energy are conserved delivering long-term strategic benefits to the environment and the community.