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The following is a transcript of the Dec. 8, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin, digital media editor for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you this week's water and wastewater news headlines. Coming up...
• Radioactive water leak at Japan nuclear plant
• Group sues for misuse of Portland Water Bureau funds
• Generous donor gives the gift of water in Iowa City
• Deadline approaching for VirtualH2O abstracts
• Saudia Arabia to invest $66B in water infrastructure
A setback last week at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Last weekend, workers discovered that water was leaking from a desalination unit, which is part of the purification system used to decontaminate the radioactive water there.
The leak appeared to stop when workers turned off the unit, but a crack in the concrete barrier surrounding the equipment was later discovered.
Workers were able to contain the leak using sandbags but TEPCO estimated that about 80 gallons of contaminated water had seeped through the crack and into a gutter leading to the Pacific Ocean.
It has not been confirmed whether any of the radioactive water reached the ocean.
A citizen's group in Portland, Oregon, is suing the city, accusing it of improperly spending Water Bureau funds.
Frustrated by rising rates, Citizens for Water Accountability, Trust and Reform cites 17 projects funded by the Water Bureau that it believes are unrelated to that agency's function -- projects like public restrooms, park improvements, and the renovation of the Rose Festival's waterfront headquarters.
The group maintains that these expenditures violate the City Charter.
The lawsuit asks that an independent auditor, appointed by a judge, review the sewer and water budgets for more questionable spending.
City officials have yet to respond to the allegations.
An unidentified woman gave 17 Iowa City families something to be thankful for this holiday season.
On November 22, just two days before Thanksgiving, a woman walked into City Hall and, after paying her own bill, asked if any other customers needed assistance.
City Hall staff worked with her to identify customers in need. The woman ended up donating more than $1600 to settle 17 past due water accounts...and ensure that those families had running water on Thanksgiving.
You still have time to submit an abstract for VirtualH2O, the completely online water industry conference and expo.
If you have an informative, non-commercial presentation on water or wastewater industry projects, technologies, or case histories, consider participating in the event and sharing your expertise with industry peers.
There's no cost to participate and absolutely no travel required!
Visit virtualh2oevent.com to submit your abstract by December 16.
In international news...
Faced with a fast-growing population and very limited water resources, Saudi Arabia's National Water Co. said it plans to spend $66.4 billion on water and wastewater projects over the next eight years.
About $30 billion of that will go toward drinking water projects, with particular emphasis on repairing leaky infrastructure and boosting desalination.
The rest is expected to go toward wastewater projects, including the more effective use of treated wastewater for non-potable applications.
In fact, NWC expects treated wastewater to become an important revenue stream, with usage predicted to triple by 2030.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.