Pioneering sustainable water management solutions in the French Alps

    RENOLIT ALKORPLAN geomembranes: pioneering sustainable water management solutions in the French Alps

    Saint Celoni, Barcelona, March 21st 2024 - In the face of increasingly complex environmental challenges, the management of water resources in mountainous terrains demands innovative solutions that can adapt to the unique conditions of high altitudes and fluctuating climates. 

    RENOLIT ALKORPLAN geomembranes, leader in the field of high-quality waterproofing solutions, has once again demonstrated its expertise and commitment to environmental sustainability through the renovation and expansion project of two collinear reservoirs located in a pristine mid-mountain area near the renowned Superdévoluy ski resort, in the commune of Dévoluy in the French Alps.

    The project highlights the critical challenges of water management in mountain environments, where the balance between human needs and environmental preservation is delicately poised.

    Navigating the complexities of water management in mountain basins

    Mountain basins present a unique set of challenges for water management, including harsh weather conditions, limited accessibility, and the need to cater to diverse usage requirements ranging from artificial snow production and agriculture to the provision of potable water and fire protection. 

    In this complex and sensitive ecosystem, the renovation and expansion project of the basins near the Superdévoluy ski resort posed additional challenges.

    The project cantered around the renovation and expansion of two existing collinear reservoirs located in a natural mid-mountain area, at an altitude of 1800 meters. The primary challenge was to significantly increase the capacity and functionality of these reservoirs to support a diverse range of activities including the production of artificial snow, agriculture, raw water supply for high-altitude restaurants, and fire protection. 

    The post-renovation reservoirs were targeted to cover an area of 3.8 hectares, with a total capacity increase of 50%, reaching 239,330 cubic meters. The project demanded solutions that could withstand environmental challenges such as low temperatures, high UV exposure, and the need for food-grade materials due to the water's use in supplying nearby restaurants.

    RENOLIT ALKORPLAN geomembranes, with its rich history of providing innovative and sustainable solutions, was perfectly positioned to tackle these challenges head-on. 

    Long-lasting, versatile, and reliable solutions for Civil Engineering projects

    The project employed a RENOLIT ALKORPLAN HYDRO H DW 35052 geomembrane, a light grey homogenous geomembrane made of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC-P) of 1.5mm. This membrane replaced the RENOLIT ALKORPLAN HYDRO 35054 geomembrane initially installed in 1994, showcasing a remarkable lifespan of 29 years by the time of the project's conception.

    The choice of this membrane not only addressed the project's immediate needs but also demonstrated durability and reliability over nearly three decades of service. This choice was made after considering the limitations of other materials, particularly their performance in low temperatures. The selected PVC membrane displayed superior behaviour under such conditions, making it an ideal choice solution for the project's unique environmental constraints.

    Furthermore, the PVC membrane met the project's requirement for food-grade materials, ensuring that the water could be safely used in the supply chain for high-altitude restaurants. This solution offered a robust answer to the challenges posed by the mountainous terrain, the altitude, and the multifaceted use of the reservoirs.

    The successful implementation of this solution underscores the RENOLIT ALKORPLAN geomembrane’s ability to provide high-quality and sustainable materials to meet the complex demands of renovating and expanding high-altitude reservoirs for diverse applications.