Global Landscape – Co2 Emissions within the Water Sector

30 Mar 2023

SUEZ Commitments & Energy Solutions 

1. The Global Stage, COP27 – CO2 Emissions

With climate change at the centre of the world stage, where are we currently and what commitments are we working towards to change our global direction of travel?

It is estimated the remaining carbon budget to keep warming below 1.5°c will be gone in nine years if emissions remain at current levels.

Global CO2 concentrations set a new record of 417.2 parts per million (ppm), up 2.5ppm from 2021 levels. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are now 51% above pre-industrial levels.

It is estimated global carbon emissions from non-revenue water (NRW) to be 187 million metric tons CO2 per year.

Exhibit 1 – Visualising the Global Trend

Exhibit 2 – GHG overview, driving the need 

What are the vision and goals, therefore, from the recently held COP27 summit held at the Sharm el Sheikh Climate Change Conference in November 2022? 

Exhibit 3 – Goals & Vision 

From a global company and water/wastewater sector viewpoint, what role can we play in this reduction? 

2. SUEZ Group – sustainability goals for 2027 and beyond

2.1. Playing our part in this global challenge – 24 commitments, 43 performance indicators across 3 pillars

In January, Sabrina Soussan (Chairperson/CEO SUEZ Group) announced our ambitious plans at a Group level covering, 1) Climate, 2) Conservation & Biodiversity and 3) Social Responsibility. 

Focusing on Climate, we aim to contribute to decarbonising energy by:

Increasing the proportion of renewable energy as a share of the Group’s total consumption, to 70% worldwide and 100% in Europe by 2030, compared to the current average of 24%, by harnessing its own power generation capacities and new renewable energy supply contracts (solar and wind power).

Increasing electricity generation on the Group’s sites with the ambitious target of becoming self-sufficient for electricity in 2023 in Europe, and remaining as such throughout the plan.

Contributing to communities’ low-carbon transition by enabling communities to benefit from locally sourced and renewable energy generated by the Group’s waste management activities and by reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by its energy consumption.

Reduce the GHG emissions from its own activities and from the sites that the Group operated on behalf of its clients: 

  • Cut the emissions of its Water activities by 40% by 2030 by improving the operational and energy efficiency of its operational process.
  • Cut the emissions of its Waste activities by 25% by 2030 (excluding energy from waste).
  • Improve, through innovation, the environmental performances of its energy from waste activities. The Group will invest an extra 40 million euros in its R&D programme dedicated to carbon capture and storage (CCS).
  • Lastly, adapt the most exposed sites to the consequences of climate change. The Group undertakes coverage of 100% of its high-priority and vulnerable sites between now and 2027 through an established and funded action plan.

    Is your company playing its part too? If so, how and what? 

3. Optimising Energy Usage – Reducing Non Revenue Water (NRW)

Global events are driving the price of electricity/kWh ever higher as we decarbonise from fossil fuels. Additionally, there are specific significant cost drivers within the water/waste sector of people, chemicals and energy. How do we approach the trilemma of this challenge?

1. energy optimisation/tariff

2. burst/leakage reduction

3. network optimisation for control

3.1. Introducing SUEZ AQUADVANCED® Energy

AQUADVANCED® Energy is a proven real-time optimisation system for water distribution networks, reducing energy costs while maximising operational performance, water quality and energy efficiency, which leads to an improved environmental footprint. The system uses the available network data to calculate and implement optimised operating schedules for water production and distribution from raw water sources to end pressure zones.

Additionally, AQUADVANCED® Energy is now integrating with:

InflowSense™ ‘Edge’high-frequency pressure monitoring devices for burst/leakage reduction, using our Cumulative Pressure Induces Stress (CPIS™), ‘event’ source localisation (to the nearest measured asset) and self-learning anomalous detection algorithms to ensure network calming post-pump optimisation

arboricity™near real-time network modelling ‘service’, to calibrate and maintain optimal network models providing changes in network operation to the OEM network modelling package 

Case study – Boise, Idaho – Reducing costs and increasing reliability

Serving over 240,000 people in Idaho’s capital city, Boise is supplied by 2 surface water treatment plants and 80 groundwater wells and 59 million m3 to 97 pressure zones via more than 1,250 miles of piping.

As times change, achieving the lowest possible carbon footprint and delivering water to customers in the most sustainable way possible is important. The possibility of doing that, while at the same time lowering our overall operating overhead, could not be ignored – even if it required challenging the clients’ traditional methods of operation.

Problem Statement

The Boise water network implementation presented some special challenges to the SUEZ team. With many pressure zones and options for supplying water into the network, there were difficult hydraulic considerations and many disparate potential solutions.

Efficient operation of the network through understanding the hydraulic interactions within the network was key to cost reduction. 


By managing supply across the different sources spread throughout the network, AQUADVANCED® Energy was able to supply the same volume for 7% less energy. Together with savings from shifting electric load scheduling under new TOU rates from Idaho Power, cost savings of over 10% were achieved.

AQUADVANCED® Energy analysed the full Idaho network simultaneously to identify the globally optimal operating schedule. Synchronised operation of assets to improve hydraulic efficiency allowed the more efficient transfer of water to customers. Using this technique AQUADVANCED® Energy has reduced Boise’s total electrical usage by 7%, $233,000 per annum.

A key part of optimising the hydraulic performance was transferring volumes of water across the many different pressure zones. Hydraulic benefits could be found by synchronising operations in neighbouring zones to move water across the network with lowered hydraulic resistance.

Other advantages seen within the network were improved operational consistency and knowledge retention, simulated contingency planning for improved resilience, coordinated maintenance scheduling, improved tank cycling for enhanced water quality and reduced leakage. 

Client Testimonial – Marshall Thompson, Director of Operations
“We were impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of the SUEZ Smart Solutions (3S) team involved with the project. The well-planned and structured processes followed by 3S ensured the project was delivered with a high level of certainty and transferred to SUEZ seamlessly”. 

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