Thierry Kernoa - Expertise Director

"Morbihan’s demands help to boost performance"

Client demands in drinking water services are changing. Our contract with Eau du Morbihan in the west of France illustrates some of these shifts. Thierry Kernoa, Expertise Director at Saur and project manager of the contract offers, welcomes Morbihan’s ambitious requirements.

Saur mission nature 14

Saur has a long history of producing, transporting, securing and distributing drinking water in Morbihan, a large department in Brittany. Our contracts renewals from 2018 to 2021 with Eau du Morbihan, which manages a large part of the department’s water services, illustrates important shifts in the market, says Thierry Kernoa. ‘We are seeing big changes in our contracts with the territorial collectivities, or municipalities,’ he begins. ‘There is a far stronger focus on performance and technical governance now than in the past. This is partly because the responsibility and management for water services no longer lies with just one person (president or mayor), but with a wide body of knowledgeable people. It has become more complex and more demanding.’

Clients are taking more ownership

Eau du Morbihan is a point in case. Thierry Kernoa: ‘In earlier days, local authorities would leave the management of the contracted services entirely to the contractor. Today’s clients do as well, however, they want us to tell them exactly how we are managing everything, with daily, monthly and annual reporting on Key Performance Indicators and associated penalties. They are taking far more ownership of the services provided.’

Pushing back consumption

With this increased sense of ownership come higher performance expectations, Thierry Kernoa explains. ‘Clients like Eau du Morbihan clearly want to join us in pushing back consumption. Not only of water - for example, by reducing leaks - but also of energy and chemicals. Managing resources more efficiently is a hot topic, and the targets are high. For Saur, this means our expertise matters more than ever. Not just in areas such as hydraulics, but also - and increasingly - in IT and electrical engineering, because of the growing role of smart technologies. This increasing use of sensors, actuators and Internet of Things solutions, of course, also affects our recruitment.’

Call the expert

The rise in demands from partners like Eau du Morbihan is a powerful illustration of just how relevant Saur’s ambitions are in the water sector. ‘The demands confirm our own internal drive to anticipate needs and trends, and lead the way for clients,’ says Thierry Kernoa. He notes that for clients such as Eau du Morbihan, these are the qualities that even in today’s unpredictable market lead to contract renewals. ‘We often hear that our expertise is highly appreciated - and not only that, but also the immediate reachability of individual experts at Saur: whether a client wants to speak with our hydraulics expert or our CEO, he knows it can be arranged quickly and easily. We’re seen as an agile organization that is always close to the clients and their short- and longer-term needs and wishes. A lot has changed in the thirty odd years I’ve been with Saur, and I’m excited to be a part of so many positive changes.’

Eau du Morbihan’s water services in numbers - Production
196 municipalities

in 2021

396 800 inhabitants
29 m3

of water delivered

12 units

surface water production units providing 80% of the water

35 underground water stations

supplying 20% ​​of the water

210 km km

of transport pipelines

Eau du Morbihan’s water services in numbers - Distribution
107 municipalities
190 000 subscribers
11,6 cubic meters sold
6 800 km km

of networks

87 % efficiency