Water

environmental dimension

Natural Resources

Natural resources are scarce, and promoting their sustainable use is an urgent task. EDP’s Environment Policy assumes a number of principles aimed at the efficient use of natural resources, contributing to their long-term sustainability.

Water is a crucial resource for the EDP Group's operations: its is used for steam production and cooling circuits in thermoelectric plants; electricity production through water turbination in hydro powerplants; and for other uses such as irrigation and human consumption.

Reducing water consumption is an overall goal for the EDP Group, and it has been included in the facilities' environmental programs. The use of cooling towers in all new projects has substantially reduced this impact, since it significantly reduces the amount of withdrawn - and therefore rejected - water. The variations that occur in water withdrawals are mostly due to the higher or lower production levels of different thermal power plants in certain periods.

Every year EDP responds to the water management questionnaire conducted by CDP. The questionnaire CDP Water allows the EDP Group to clarify its strategy, objectives, management plans, risks, opportunities, and performance regarding this issue, with an increasing focus on the supply chain.

Water usage

  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Ocean
    x10^3 m^3
    1,721,378
    1,477,099
    1,693,580
    1,612,252
    1,586,479
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    River/Stream
    x10^3 m^3
    20,019
    16,031
    43,155
    16,591
    16,116
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Water reservoir
    x10^3 m^3
    6
    6
    9
    11
    26
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Water hole
    x10^3 m^3
    170
    149
    111
    94
    105
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Well
    x10^3 m^3
    11
    12
    32
    15
    57
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Municipal water supplies
    x10^3 m^3
    15,460
    15,561
    11,825
    3,046
    3,195
  •  
    Unit
    2017
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    Other private entity
    x10^3 m^3
    1,388
    1,420
    1,493
    1,565
    2,361

Most withdrawn water is used for the cooling process of thermal power plants. In open circuits, water is almost entirely returned to the water environment, while in closed circuits withdrawn water is mostly used to replace water that evaporates in cooling towers.

The water withdrawal sources are several, however approximately 98% of the collected water has its origin in the ocean and is intended to be used in Sines (Portugal) and Aboño (Spain) thermal power plants.

In 2017 there was an increase in thermal power production because of the severe drought that occurred in the Iberian Peninsula. This explains the increased use of water in the refrigeration circuits between 2016 and 2017. 

In addition to the cooling water, raw water and potable water are considered the main uses of water in EDP.
 

In 2017, EDP Group recycled and reused 690,224 m3, including the condensed in cogeneration plants.
 

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