Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Innovation and industrialization are at the heart of social and economic development. Goal nine aims to bring sustainable and inclusive solutions together, to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure by updating, increasing resource-use efficiency and adopting clean and environmental technologies.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

“Science and technology, powered by the fuel of entrepreneurial energy, are the largest multipliers of resources we have to solve our many social problems.”

Vinod Khosla
Entrepreneur, investor and technologist.

Around 800 million people in the world lack access to water.

When it comes to sanitation, Veolia Water Technologies innovates and helps customers get the most of their water infrastructure. Our team designs and maintains water networks of all kinds to ensure long-term sustainability and profitability with enhanced optimization, improved resiliency and continued compliance.

A small municipality is pioneering water resiliency in Spain

Water is scarce in El Port de la Selva. This small city in Costa Brava in northeastern Spain has just 1,000 full-time inhabitants, yet welcomes 12 times more visitors during the summer months. As a result, it suffers from water stress when rainfall is limited.

Recognizing the importance of tourism and that holiday-makers need access to water, the municipality enrolled in an European Union funded project called DEMOWARE (DEMOnstration of WAter REuse). As the DEMOWARE technology experts, our mission was to investigate the feasibility of indirect potable water reuse*.

The mission was to guarantee technical, economical and sanitary viability of the project for drinking water supplies in peak seasons and an initiative from the Port de la Selva City council was to secure the reuse treated wastewater for the aquifer recharge.

In partnership, and with minimal additional infrastructure, this wastewater reuse was implemented in 2016. The installation helps ensure tourism, supporting the local economy, and promotes the circular economy too.


*The indirect potable water reuse project is on standby until further notice from Consorci d’Aigües Costa Brava Girona.

Tourism in Spain is the third largest contributor to national economic life accounting for 12.4% of the country’s GDP.

This aquifer is sufficient for the supply in normal situations, but during the drought period of 2007 - 2008 we realized that we were pumping and supplying extra water. At that time, we considered the possibility of reusing the water we already had, not only for non-drinking purposes, which we were already doing, but also to return it to the system, so that it would become a natural resource to feed the aquifer.” — Josep María Cervera, Mayor of El Port de la Selva

Based in Jordan but virtually in Germany, augmented reality enhances the world of field services

Global travel was extremely limited during 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant when a giant in the food and beverage industry required a factory acceptance test (FAT) an alternative solution needed to be found.

Our digital team used a real-time augmented reality (AR) tool, Fieldbit. AR can let the user see the real-life environment with a digital augmentation overlay.

In this case, the German team was able to virtually present all the pre assembled equipment to the customer in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and France.

This means, without actually being there, the customer could still speak to our experts, thoroughly check the equipment and get answers to a wide range of situations.

The full inspection was carried out live and the FAT approved in under two hours, instead of a three day business trip. The equipment was then shipped avoiding any possible delay in commissioning and production of the process water treatment plant.

AR facilitates remote collaboration with subject matter experts in real-time via smartphones, mobile devices, web browsers and smart eyeglasses, to conduct virtual inspections and verifications.

The global augmented reality (AR) market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 74.9% from 2016 to 2024 to reach USD 100.2 billion by 2024.

Blue Gold, inspiring, real-life stories about the Sustainable Development Goals in action

Listen now to the episode dedicated to Goal 9. 
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure — we hear two different approaches to building resilience. We discover one municipality's success in Costa Brava, as they overcome water scarcity, and then we discover how augmented reality is used to support clients in Jordan during COVID-19 to maintain their operations.

Discover Blue Gold on Youtube 
with English subtitles and on all major podcast platforms.

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Our conclusion

Since September 2015, when all United Nations member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, our collective global progress has been slow.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has called for a decade of action to ensure we meet the global targets we set ourselves.

We all need to take responsibility and act today — not tomorrow — to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

At Veolia Water Technologies, we are committed to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Are you? Please, share with us your SDG focus and progress!