Martine Vullierme

A solution to water stress

Martine Vullierme, Deputy Director of Veolia’s Africa/Middle East zone, in charge of Operations

“ Veolia has been a stakeholder in this Windhoek project since 2003; at the time, a stateof- the-art “multi-barrier” technology was put in place. A host of physical filters along with bacterial and chemical treatments guarantee that the drinking water complies with World Health Organization standards. The water is therefore extremely clean. There are few facilities of this kind: Goreangab is both the oldest and the largest in the world. The standard solution consists in treating wastewater in treatment plants before discharging it into the natural environment (rivers or the sea). However, river water is often extracted and cleaned to be used as drinking water. In Windhoek, the process offers more direct water treatment.
Despite a shortage of water, other regions of the world are opposed to recycling wastewater largely due to cultural reasons or psychological obstacles. In Australia, for instance, a facility of this kind was suggested following a drought but never came to light because of opposition from the local community... and the return of the rain. However, many cities are suffering from water stress and it is an excellent source of drinking water. We must get used to this idea because water is a precious resource.
Windhoek’s inhabitants have clearly understood this, which is why the city is planning to build an additional plant to treat and convert even greater quantities of wastewater into clean, safe drinking water. ”