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Veolia Sees More Water-Management Deals in U.S. Cities, CEO Says

Veolia Environnement SA, Europe’s biggest water company, sees “a lot of prospects” to help large U.S. cities optimize their water management, according to its chief executive officer.

Veolia is working with the District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority to find $8 million to $12 million in annual savings primarily through improvements to the Washington Aqueduct, the company said today in a statement. It has similar deals with Pittsburgh and New York, the latter of which eventually could save more than $100 million per year.

“We’re hoping to attract more and more big cities,” Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot said today in a telephone interview from Washington, where the deal with DC Water, worth $1.2 million over 18 months, was announced.

Unlike a public-private partnership where a company takes over a municipality’s water assets, Paris-based Veolia instead offers management expertise and connections to its global supply chain, which many local politicians prefer, Frerot said.

“It’s an ideal model for cities that want to keep their water services and make improvements,” Frerot said. “We are able, through this model, to sell our expertise.”

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