Jean Paul ONATZKY and Lionel ERCOLEI
More and more often, decision makers are considering using brackish water for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes. The main reason for that is that it is a good alternative to plain desalination. But also, when people really need water they are now ready to pay a higher price. On the other hand, the cost per m3 has dropped considerably due to new technological developments (inverse osmosis and membranes) combined with a reduction in manufacturing costs. A reputed utility such as the “Groupe des Eaux de Marseille” (SEM) could not stay indifferent to this new trend, specially since the Mediterranean area and the Middle East are good grounds for the application of such techniques. In the short run, SEM’s objective is to master these techniques and to strengthen it’s know-how in the operation of saltwater and brackish water processing units. It is in this context that SEM has sought, for some 20 years, to widen its knowledge in the use of such resources. Its initial approach involved the study of the improvement of a resurgence close to Marseilles, the resurgence of Port Miou. The first part of this presentation summarises the approach that was adopted. The second part details the methodology that is currently being implemented. Based on an innovative approach and bringing together a full panel of environmental specialists, the current approach aims to apply new processes, methods and equipment to the development and efficient use of the resource.