Water resource management is increasingly important and Enel is constantly monitoring its generation sites that are located in areas where there's risk of water scarcity, in order to manage water resources with greater efficiency. The Enel Group draws water from water sources mainly for industrial purposes, such as cooling, desulphurisation, abatement of nitrogen oxides, etc.
Thermal and nuclear electricity generation are the production processes that require the greatest amount of water.
Enel constantly monitors all generation sites that are located in areas with a risk of water scarcity, in order to manage water resources with greater efficiency. The mapping is done according to the following analysis levels:
- mapping of generation sites that are located in areas with potential “water stress” situations, in which the annual average value of renewable water resources per capita is lower than the reference value set by FAO (1,700 m3), which are also identified by means of a specific software developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development;
- identifying generation sites that are “critical”, meaning that their water supply comes from freshwater;
- improving management efficiency by means of possible plant or process changes aimed to maximise supplies from drain and sea water;
- monitoring weather and vegetative data pertaining to each site.
From this mapping activity it emerged that overall water consumption in 2013 amounted to 189.6 million m3 and was lower than in 2012 due to the reduction of thermal electric generation. Specific consumption in 2013 amounted to 0.64 l/kWh, compared to 0.62 l/kWh in 2012. This increase is due exclusively to a review of the calculation method used for estimating losses at some types of plants caused by evaporation in a specific partially open cooling cycle. In fact, if the calculation method used the year before were to be applied to data for 2013, specific consumption would decrease by about 6% compared to 2012, in line with Enel's commitment to reduce this consumption by 10% in 2020 compared to 2010.