SICASIL (Syndicat Mixte des Communes Alimentées par les Canaux de la Siagne et du Loup) has chosen SUEZ to produce and distribute drinking water for eight towns with more than 180,000 inhabitants. The service will be provided by a dedicated company called So’EAU. It will cover the needs of the Cannes Lérins region, where new ways of conserving drinking water will be piloted. The water produced by So’EAU will soon have a quality label, the first of its kind in the world.
So’EAU, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SUEZ, began providing water services to the town of Théoule-sur-Mer on 1 January 2023 for a nine-year period. From 1 January 2024, it will also provide services to the towns of Auribeau-sur-Siagne, Cannes, Le Cannet, Mougins, Pégomas, La Roquette-sur-Siagne and Vallauris-Golfe Juan for a period of eight years.
With a population that rises sharply during the summer season—from 180,000 to 320,000 people—and the impact of climate change, the Cannes region faces major challenges in preserving its water resources, which are essential to the region’s attractiveness for business and tourism.
10 million m3 of water saved in order to conserve resources
The water supplying SICASIL’s region comes from the Siagne and Loup canals, and from the Lac de Saint-Cassien during the summer season. To conserve these resources as effectively as possible, several initiatives are being adopted:
- Roll-out of smart meters in order to monitor most of the region’s water consumption. This will allow leaks to be detected more quickly in the main network but also in consumers’ homes, with text message and email alerts being sent if abnormal consumption levels are detected. 26,000 meters will be equipped with remote reading technology by the end of 2025.
- Ongoing network analysis to limit the duration of any leaks and reduce the volume of water lost. The 1,035 km mains network is monitored 24/7 to detect any leaks as quickly as possible, so that repair teams can take action. Leak detection will also be more effective through the use of 184 flow meters, 600 leak noise loggers and 137 pressure regulators.
A world-first water quality label
The drinking water produced by So’EAU will be the only water in the world to carry a quality label. The label, which is subject to an annual audit, recognizes the exceptional quality of the water distributed in the region.
Innovative water treatment
Following approval from the regional health agency, SUEZ has committed to gradually reducing its use of chlorine gradually by installing ultraviolet reactors in its water production plants and adopting new response protocols in its mains network. These efforts respond to consumers’ strong desire for better-tasting water, and will encourage them to drink tap water instead of bottled water.
SUEZ also plans to go further by introducing an innovative water treatment solution. It involves the use of nanofiltration membranes, a new-generation physical process that will lead to major changes in existing infrastructure. Two pilots are planned on the region’s water sources, one on the Siagne canal in 2025 and one on the Loup canal in 2026.
Together, these initiatives will result in very high-quality water for users, while keeping bills stable and maintaining water prices that are 30% lower than the national average.
Sabrina Soussan ,Chairman and CEO of SUEZ, said: "We are delighted to be working with SICASIL in responding to the ambitions of this exceptional region. SUEZ’s experts and researchers have worked to develop innovative, resilient solutions that will provide residents of the Cannes region with very high-quality water, while also conserving its water resources. The amount of water saved will equal the annual consumption of 200,000 people, and we are taking the unprecedented step of adopting a quality label for the region’s water."
David Lisnard, President of Agglomération Cannes Lérins and Mayor of Cannes, added: “The environmental and economic context facing us means that we must rethink the way we manage our drinking water, while keeping prices competitive. We are therefore very proud of this new agreement with So’EAU, which will ensure that the drinking water in the Agglomération Cannes Lérins is of the best quality and is treated in an environmentally friendly way. Our region is therefore continuing to anticipate the needs of future generations, while addressing today’s challenges through innovation and investment.”
Jean-Michel Sauvage, President of SICASIL, said: “A new chapter is beginning for SICASIL’s towns with the arrival of So’EAU, a company focused on managing the public drinking water supply. So’EAU will operate SICASIL’s water assets, which include long-standing facilities but also more recent infrastructure, such as the infrastructure that provides access to the strategic reserve at Saint Cassien and the Apié treatment plant. These assets perfectly illustrate the ability that SICASIL has always shown to anticipate and adapt to changes in water resources. Today, So’EAU is taking part in these efforts by making SICASIL’s region a test-bed as it develops the drinking water treatment processes of the future.”