On 10 September 2015, SUEZ launched its second call for projects “Acting for water resources”, inviting NGOs, researchers, businesses and even individuals to submit their innovative solutions and initiatives to protect the resource. The result? On 24 March, Serge Lepeltier, the former French Minister of the Ecology and Sustainable Development, and Bertrand Camus, Managing Director of SUEZ’s water activity in France, revealed the six winners. Close-up on the winning projects. Credit: SUEZ
fluidionTM: an automated onboard system to monitor the quality of the aquatic ecosystem
Founded in 2012, the start-up fluidionTM develops and sells standalone sampling and measuring systems that monitor the environment. The programme’s jury was impressed by the start-up’s new solution: the ALERT Platform. This platform is designed to develop mobile, onboard and remotely controlled laboratories that measure the concentration of E.coli bacteria in water in situ. Based on a maritime drone, a sensor and a system that communicates the collected data, this solution will allow the operators of bathing and aquaculture zones to take measurements without having to visit the field. It will also guarantee results of a better quality, because the collected samples are analysed immediately, thereby limiting the risk of deterioration during transport.
Alès Mines engineering school and Caminnov: quick detection of emerging pollutants
The project launched by the Industrial Environmental Engineering Lab at the Alès Mines engineering school and Caminnov, a start-up specialising in biotechnologies, aims to develop by 2018 an easily transportable tool capable of detecting two emerging water pollutants in just a few minutes: the pesticide glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), which affect the quality of surface water. This project is taking up the challenge of detecting the presence of these molecules in less than 20 minutes, using biosensors directly on the spot where the samples are taken.
ADAF: changing agricultural practices
The project submitted by the Drôme agro-forestry NGO (ASAF) aims to bring together farmers, local authorities and other NGOs in the Montélimar basin by 2018, in order to improve agricultural practices in the region, by making them more respectful of water resources. These practices will concentrate on the maintenance of pastoral land and the re-introduction of field trees onto farmland.
CORIF: making children aware of biodiversity
Presented by the Paris regional centre for ornithology (CORIF), the “Ecol’eau” project consists of an educational programme designed to raise awareness of biodiversity amongst the pupils in the junior and secondary schools in the 15 localities crossed by the Bièvre river. In broader terms, the aim of the programme is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the biodiversity in the region’s wetlands amongst the local population.
Velay environmental centre: protecting orphaned wetlands
This project, launched by the centre for environmental initiatives in Le Velay, is unusual, inasmuch as it takes two close-fitting approaches: raising the awareness of the local population of the importance of protecting the forgotten wetlands of the Haute-Loire department, and concrete operations to restore the springs, marshes and small peat bogs that are not covered by the conventional wetlands conservation programmes.
ADOPTA and CD2E: micropollutants and rainwater
The association for the operational development and promotion of alternative techniques (ADOPTA) in the field of rainwater works on the development of alternative techniques to manage rainwater. These techniques (reservoir pavements, infiltration wells, drainage trenches, etc.) aim to allow the rainwater to infiltrate the soil as close as possible to point where it falls, thereby preventing it from flowing on the surface and picking up pollutants. The project submitted by the association, in partnership with the NGO CDE2 (creation and development of eco-enterprises), aims to analyse the performance of these alternative techniques in terms of micropollutants.
The six winning projects will share a global donation of €100,000 and receive support from the experts at SUEZ.