2019 was a transition year for De Watergroep. We transformed our business from a provincially controlled company to a process-oriented organisation. This evolution was essential to ensure De Watergroep is ready to face the challenges of the future.
“On the one hand, climate change is placing the water supply under pressure. Climate models are predicting ever more frequent long periods of drought, interspersed by brief periods of heavy rainfall. After 3 extremely dry summers, we are still dealing with low water levels in our surface and groundwater resources. One wet winter won’t be enough to put this right,” Director General Hans Goossens explains. “That’s why we’re pursuing more diversity in our sources of water: no longer just ground and surface water, but rainwater and reused waste water too. We’re evolving towards decentralised supply models, in which we work together with different water partners and companies.”
“On the other hand, new, digital technologies are offering an increasing number of opportunities for providing services. For example, it will soon be possible to search for information or arrange a home move at any time of day via our website, with its online customer zone. Customers expect this service from us as well.”
“In order to exploit the new opportunities to the fullest, it is important for the entire organisation to be on the same page. Previously, each provincial division had its own approach. In our new organisational structure, everyone operates in accordance with the same customer, production and distribution processes. Our business model has also been given a complete makeover. As a sustainable drinking water company, we want a change in the manner we deal with water resources: we should go beyond merely selling cubic meters, and encourage customers to be more economical and to reuse water.”
“Our efforts in relation to sustainable enterprise may have been rather piecemeal in the past, but we are now evolving towards an integrated approach. Our employees have had to put in a great deal of effort during our reorganisation process. However, a process-oriented, flexible organisation will ensure that we will be able to respond to new developments in a far better manner, and are in a strong position to face the future.”
Mieke Van Hootegem
Chairman of the Board of Directors