Pioneering Water and Wastewater Partnership with NYC

The challenge

Pioneering partnership on New York City's Operational Excellence (OpX) program seeks to enhance nation's largest water and wastewater services, streamline workflows, boost productivity, identify efficiencies and reach Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) goals, resulting in environmental benefits and reduced water costs for 9 million New Yorkers.

The project challenges are:

  • The partnership, which began in November 2011, calls for Veolia North America to help DEP achieve its long-range goal to be the safest, most effective, cost efficient and transparent water utility in the nation.
  • Under our unique Peer Performance Solutions (PPS) model, Veolia subject-matter experts are working side-by-side with DEP employees to identify and implement efficiencies across every aspect of the city's water supply and treatment system
  • This includes 14 wastewater treatment plants, water treatment facilities, 7,400 miles of sewer lines, 6,500 miles of water lines, underground piping, operational processes, management and staffing, with a goal of realizing savings and revenue enhancements equal to 10% of the agency's operations budget.

The solution

Innovative solutions:

  • Working with McKinsey & Company on detailed Operations Efficiency evaluation of the city's water supply and treatment system; Phase 1 focused on recommendations to strengthen the system while keeping future water rates low for 836,000 ratepayers; Phase 2 focuses on implementing recommendations to achieve savings.
  • Through the innovative PPS model, delivering access to Veolia’s global network of water and wastewater services, technologies and staff resources from our company and partner firms.
  • Veolia maintenance, engineering and management specialists working with teams of New York City employees to find O&M efficiencies and implement them over the next four years, with a focus on energy usage and production opportunities, chemical usage and pricing, labor productivity, inventory management and optimal sludge processes.
  • Support public outreach, legislative initiatives and other processes to implement recommendations.
  • ​Seeking to streamline North America's largest water and wastewater operation, reduce and stabilize costs and bring the global benefits of Veolia's experience in managing some of the largest utility operations in the world.

Benefits for our clients


  • Identified strengths within DEP's operation
  • Noted five key areas where improvements will yield significant financial benefits: efficient and sustainable use of resources and materials; enhanced workforce effectiveness; improved revenue collection; development of a metrics-based performance culture; and strengthening of DEP's support services
  • Phase 1 analytic work completed by OpX team, DEP management and employees; work confirmed DEP is a world leader in meeting drinking water and wastewater compliance
  • Identified and evaluated more than 100 individual improvement areas in the first six months
  • ​Established impact of transforming DEP operations; identified $108 million to $130 million in annual savings, composed of cost-oriented improvements of $65 million to $87 million and revenue collection initiatives worth approximately $43 million

Learn more about our solutions:

Water Solutions
Waste Solutions
Energy Solutions