New York City's Big Numbers

The largest municipal water and wastewater utility in the country wants to achieve up to $200 million savings annually. Here's how.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection recently selected Veolia North America to support a highly ambitious program: Help DEP become the nation's most effective water utility. At the same time, the agency wants to enhance services for DEP customers, deliver environmental benefits and reduce costs.

As the nation's largest municipal water and wastewater utility, DEP is aiming high. Out of their current $1.2 billion annual operations and maintenance budget, the department hopes to save $100 - $200 million annually. Their plan is to deliver these huge savings through a new program called OpX.

In the past month, a team of DEP and Veolia Water employees have been developing the OpX program, formally known as Operational Excellence: The Best Always Do Better.

The OpX program will help DEP conduct an evaluation and develop recommendations on how DEP can improve productivity and reduce costs. Improvements that DEP chooses will then be implemented over a four-year period. The partnership is looking for opportunities to boost productivity and identify efficiencies. 
Wave 7
Through this new innovative agreement, a combined team of DEP and Veolia employees are identifying and helping implement efficiencies and process improvements in operations and maintenance. Supporting subcontract work is provided by consultants McKinsey & Company and Arcadis. A number of areas are being reviewed including operations optimization; reduction in energy; utilization of asset management principles and programs; increased production within process chains; better and more efficient use of chemicals and inventory management and procurement. 

"DEP and its predecessor agencies share a proud legacy of innovation, from some of the country's first wastewater treatment plants to the greatest water supply network in the world," says DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. 

"The OpX program pairs us with a firm that brings a comprehensive portfolio of best management practices, a track record of boosting productivity while reducing expenses across the globe, and all while protecting existing workforces." 

New York City turned to Veolia because of our worldwide network of water and wastewater experts, services and technologies. Partnering with the private sector can bring substantial financial, benefits to cities. Numerous contract models are employed, all which ensure local control and governance while ranging in scope of work, performance metrics, financial incentives, and the deployment of public or private-sector employees.

"Our team in New York is supporting a publicly managed and employed model," explains David Alexandre, Veolia's program manager for the DEP project. "Working closely with our subcontractors McKinsey & Company and Arcadis, we're intent on executing a very deliberate and thoughtful program to yield as many benefits for New Yorkers as possible."

Can New York's model save your city money? Call 312-552-2800 or email us and we can answer any detailed questions you have.


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