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cooling towers in all new projects has substantially reduced this impact, since it significantly reduces the amount of withdrawn - and therefore rejected - water.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 (see below). 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.
Most withdrawn water is used for the cooling process of thermal power plants. In open circuits, water is almost entirely returned to the water environment, while in closed circuits withdrawn water is mostly used to replace water that evaporates in cooling towers.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.