Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

South West Water joins forces with Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions to bring desalination to Cornwall

South West Water joins forces with Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions to bring desalination to Cornwall

South West Water is making progress towards bringing desalination to Cornwall after appointing Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions to move to the next phase of development.

Last year saw record levels of drought in the South West, putting pressure on the region’s water resources. South West Water has worked hard to increase supplies and build greater future resilience.

Preparation for future climate change issues includes the first desalination plant in Cornwall, which will provide a climate-independent source of water and protect the region against the prolonged periods of hot, dry weather we are seeing due to climate change.

South West Water explored potential sites across Cornwall’s coastline with considerations for any possible impact to the public, wildlife and the environment, and has determined that Par is the most suitable location for desalination.

Working with South West Water, Veolia will manufacture and supply the proposed desalination plant, ensuring the strictest quality control measures are in place to meet the standards required for this kind of unique project.

David Harris, Drought and Resilience Director for South West Water, said: “The extreme weather conditions we faced last year means we are taking proactive steps to develop climate-independent sources of water. This will help us to become less reliant on rainfall and more resilient against the impacts of climate change in the future.

“We are working closely with our regulators and other key stakeholders to ensure we are delivering this project in the most responsible way and we are pleased to be working closely with Veolia to build and deliver the proposed desalination for the South West.”

The desalination process will involve extracting seawater from St Austell Bay to receive initial treatment at the desalination plant. The water will then be transferred to Cornwall’s biggest water treatment works at Restormel for a secondary phase of treatment before being circulated for consumption to around 300,000 people in Cornwall.

The desalination plant will provide South West Water with an additional, long-term, water source capable of producing up to 20 million litres of water per day – approximately 40% of the current water demand for Cornwall.

Ben Harding, Regional Vice President – UK & Ireland, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, said: “Our work with South West Water highlights our continued leadership and proven expertise with desalination technology, worldwide. We are excited to provide our end-to-end portfolio of solutions that deliver on South West Water's stringent quality requirements, timescales, and challenges to regenerate water supplies whilst minimising energy consumption. As a global leader in ecological transition, Veolia puts sustainability at the forefront and looks forward to helping increase access to clean water and protecting the environment."

South West Water is undertaking a programme of public engagement on the project prior to the submission of a planning application. For more information, visit


About Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

With operations in 130 countries and over 10,000 employees worldwide, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions solves the toughest water, wastewater and process challenges around the globe. Leveraging a comprehensive set of chemical, equipment and digital enabled services and products, the company helps customers optimize water resources and overcome process challenges. Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions serves customers across all industries, including food and beverage, metals and mining, power, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, and utilities. Learn more at and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


About Veolia

Veolia Group aims to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Present on five continents with nearly 213,000 employees, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy that are contributing to a radical turnaround of the current situation. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them. In 2022, the Veolia group provided 111 million inhabitants with drinking water and 97 million with sanitation, produced nearly 44 million megawatt hours and recovered 61 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 42.885 billion euros in 2022.

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