L'importanza dell'acqua

The vital importance of water

A fundamental resource for the survival of the planet, to be preserved in all our actions.

Safeguarding a limited and increasingly exploited resource such as water is central to the path of global sustainable development. Respect for the planet is an integral part of our mission, where we are careful to promote a responsible approach to the use of water, a vital resource for Earth and for mankind.

Continuing the transformation started in 2014, we aim to lead the energy transition towards a low-carbon future, promoting access to energy in an efficient and sustainable way for all.

Our commitment to safeguarding water as a resource is an integral part of this objective and includes measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as water scarcity and desertification.

We have strengthened our commitment by publishing Eni's Positioning on Water for the first time. This is a further step towards reinforcing the commitments set out in the CEO Water Mandate and is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, acting in harmony with local needs, with the aim of fostering social development and safeguarding ecosystems. We have been taking an integrated, cross-departmental approach for some time, involving specialist departments and business lines. This enables us to map and monitor water risk to identify the most vulnerable areas and define measures to mitigate water risk.

Eni's commitments on Water
Eni's commitments on Water

Initiatives were implemented at Eni sites in 2021 aimed at reducing fresh water withdrawals and replacing it, in both civil and industrial uses, with water from secondary sources such as rainwater, reclaimed groundwater or treated wastewater. In addition, the E&P sector continues to develop projects aimed at both the re-injection of production water and its treatment and reuse for industrial purposes, with the aim of reducing the impact on local communities and ecosystems, especially in waterstressed areas.

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A commitment to sustainable water management: the CEO Water Mandate

In keeping with the approach we have expressed through our positioning, and to give a clear signal of our commitment, we have decided to join the CEO Water Mandate from the UN Global Compact, an initiative that requires participating companies to improve water management in their business. We are one of the first companies in the energy sector to join. 

The CEO Water Mandate is supported by more than 180 companies across various sectors. Its objective is to encourage businesses to take practical steps to ensure that water is used sustainably in their industrial processes. Members undertake to improve corporate performance in six core areas – direct operations, supply-chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy and community engagement – and to report progress annually. Contributing to water security and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is one of its primary tasks.

The importance of trasparency

Transparency underlies everything we do, a sense of responsibility that informs all our operations. We incorporate these principles at every level and in every business unit. This is also why we apply the standards of the main ESG (environment, social and governance) indices.

Water security: Eni and the protection of water resources

We ranked A- on the CDP Water Security questionnaire for transparency on water resources management – one of the highest scores among companies in our sector. CDP is a not-for-profit organisation which assesses the performance and strategies of listed companies on climate, water resources and the sustainability of biomass used in production processes. The questionnaire helps Companies to focus their efforts on reducing environmental impacts, conserving water resources and protecting forests. It encourages businesses to capitalise on opportunities and guides the actions of investors and customers in striving for a more sustainable world.

Eni CDP Water Security 2022

L'importanza dell'acqua
L'importanza dell'acqua

Water in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Universal access to clean water is an essential global ambition, enshrined in Goal 6 of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. Goal 14, meanwhile, is focused on protecting marine and coastal ecosystems and reducing contamination and acidification of the seas and oceans by promoting sustainable fishing practices and scientific research. Finally, Goal 15, too, relates indirectly to the stewardship of water resources and safeguarding biodiversity by protecting and restoring land-based ecosystems.



Biodiversity and Eni

An in-depth longform exploring definitions and basic concepts relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services, of which water resources are a fundamental aspect. These are all matters on which we are constantly at work, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Go to the longform

Eni Rewind and water treatment

Eni Rewind, Eni's environmental company, is involved in the remediation and monitoring of groundwater throughout Italy. In 2020, it treated a total of approximately 36 million cubic metres of water, recovering about 6 million for industrial uses. The activities are implemented through an integrated aquifer interception and treatment system, consisting of:

  • over 1.200 pumping wells
  • about 5,000 monitoring wells for the conveyance of water to treatment plants (GTP) for purification
  • 42 water treatment plants, 26 of which are owned.

Eni Rewind also manages urban and industrial biological treatment systems at the Gela, Cengio and Manfredonia sites. All assets are aligned with the best technologies available (Best Available Technology - BAT and Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost - BATNEEC).

At the GTP plants at the Priolo, Porto Torres, Assemini and Brindisi sites, Eni's environmental company has installed and started up special sections to produce demineralised water intended for reuse at plant facilities. At the Manfredonia site, the treated and osmotised water is partially re-injected into the groundwater to restore the aquifers’ natural conditions.

In Brindisi, a new osmosis-membrane plant has come on stream. Managed by Enipower, it is capable of producing demineralised water from seawater, thus drastically reducing the need to withdraw fresh water from surface and underground sources. The project, undertaken at Enipower’s Brindisi, makes possible to use demineralised water both for producing thermoelectric energy and in the production processes of the other companies on site. Thanks to synergies and Eni’s constant drive to optimise the use of water resources, the plant has been connected to the Eni Rewind TAF system, leading to a further reduction of sea water withdrawals. The plant continues to rely on seawater as its primary raw material, but – for the same level of production – reduces the volume of water withdrawn by approximately 6 million cubic metres per year

The Metaponto Centre for water-related research

In March 2019, Eni and Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) signed an agreement to set up four research centres of excellence in southern Italy dedicated to sustainable environmental and economic development.

One of these is the Eni-CNR "Ipazia D’Alessandria" Centre in Metaponto, Basilicata. Inaugurated in 2019, the Centre promotes innovative solutions and technologies aimed at the efficient management and sustainable use/reuse of water resources, mitigating the increasing impact of drought in the Mediterranean and other strategic areas, such as the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Middle East.

Three areas of research have been identified to achieve this goal:

  • optimising the use of water in agriculture, based on innovative irrigation systems that reduce water wastage and by studying the bacteria and fungi in plants’ root system to make their absorption of water more efficient
  • developing new technologies to treat civil and industrial waste water, with the option of being able to reuse the treated water, including in the agricultural sector
  • the optimal management of coastal groundwater, managing the risks of salinisation (due to the intrusion of sea water) and subsidence.

The first stage in all three projects mainly involved investigations, carried out with the substantial support of Feem, and extending across the regions in Southern Italy, aimed at:

  • identifying marginal land for agriculture, by analysing primary scientific studies
  • assessing the availability of water in the central-southern region and the option of also using civil and industrial waste water in the irrigation sector
  • mapping the available groundwater resources, assessing their quality status and over-exploitation.

The experimental activities are continuing, even though they have been significantly affected by the restrictive measures imposed in the fight against Covid-19. In parallel and in synergy with the research centre activities, three PhDs have been introduced in cooperation with the University of Basilicata.

Water access projects

Eni has always combined its energy-related activities with initiatives that improve its host communities lives. One of our guidelines for creating value is to form alliances to promote local development in the countries where we operate. We are committed not only to developing the resources of producer countries, ensuring that their gas is sold on the local market and improving access to electricity, but also to promoting a broad portfolio of initiatives in favour of local communities, in particular projects that improve access to clean water.