ITT, Mercy Corps partner for global emergency relief

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IT T Corp. formed a strategic partnership with global relief agency Mercy Corps as part of its corporate philanthropy program, ITT Watermark. It includes a three-year, $1 million commitment to help provide safe water during emergencies created by natural catastrophes such as floods, droughts and earthquakes.

When natural disasters strike, access to safe, potable water is often a critical need. In the partnership, ITT will support Mercy’s relief and recovery efforts, including provision of dewatering and water purification equipment. In addition, it will aid on-the-ground staff with long term rebuilding and recovery of water and sanitation infrastructure. A global relief and development agency, Portland, Oregon, USA-based Mercy Corps works with the UN on water and sanitation solutions during disasters, spending $1.5 billion since 1979 to assist people in 106 nations. In other news, ITT’s Flowtronex Silent Storm pumping system was picked for irrigation at the Al Ruwaya 18-hole golf course being built as part of Tiger Woods Dubai, UAE, to open in 2009.


Global water crisis encourages desalination growth, IDA report

Worldwide growth in desalination to produce a reliable drinking water supply rose sharply in the last year, indicating such technologies are being used more than ever to address the global thirst for new sources of potable water, according to statistics released by the Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA-based International Desalination Association.

IDA’s 2008-2009 Desalination Yearbook, published by Global Water Intelligence, notes total contracted (planned) capacity grew by 43% in 2007, or 6.8 million m3/d, up from 4.7 million m3/d in 2006. This 2.1 million m3/d increase is enough to supply potable water to over 50 million people.

During the first six months of this year, IDA reports newly contracted capacity increased an additional 39% to 62.8 million m3/d, with 62% of this as seawater desalination while brackish water desalination represented another 12.2 million m3/d. Wastewater applications of desalination technologies for water reuse, currently at 5% of total capacity, also is growing fast.


NADBank assists Mexican water, wastewater services with funding

In August, Piedras Negras Mayor Raúl Alejandro Vela, in Coahuila state, and other local dignitaries celebrated completion of work in the Villa de Fuente neighborhood where wastewater collection services are available to some for the first time. 

Part of a three-phase $56.8 million project to be done by 2018, the effort includes construction of a WWTP and collection system to provide service to 100% of the city. It’s backed by North American Development Bank grants and loans of $10.8 million. The bank also is providing $29.5 million in funding for two wastewater projects in Coahuila to benefit 250,000 residents of Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuñas. And it’s working with the Coahuila state government on four new projects for water, wastewater and solid waste estimated to cost $40 million.


World’s largest UV project in NYC

The world’s largest UV disinfection project is under way with a Malcolm Pirnie/CH2M Hill joint venture as the construction management team on the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility in Westchester County.

It will use 56 low-pressure, high-output UV reactors to treat an average of 1.3 billion gallons of water daily with capacity to treat over 2 billion gallons daily. Scheduled for completion in September 2014, this single facility will triple the North American drinking water UV capacity. Other teaming partners include URS and a joint venture of Hazen & Sawyer/CDM. In other news, CH2M’s Patrick T. Karney, Water Business Group vice president, was elected a board member of the new Clean Water America Alliance.


Clinton initiative focuses on clean water, sanitation

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) announced a “Water and Sanitation Mega-Commitment” by an alliance that includes the Global Water Challenge (GWC), WaterPartners, and the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) to help millions of people gain two of life’s most fundamental necessities: clean drinking water and a safe, private toilet.

Collectively, the $60+ million pledged in various efforts involved will improve the quality of life for 6 million of the world’s poorest people.

Efforts include a $25 million GWC commitment to help fund new innovative projects found through the Changemakers.net competition by Ashoka, a $30 million WSSCC commitment (through its Global Sanitation Fund) to facilitate access to sanitation services and good hygiene practices via grants to community-based programs, and a $7.6 million commitment from PepsiCo Foundation to WaterPartners and Safe Water Network to accelerate access to safe water and sanitation for those living without these basic necessities in India.

In the last year, PepsiCo and its foundation made over $16 million in commitments for water projects globally. In addition, the ONEXONE Foundation and its partner H2O Africa have committed to donating no less than $1 million to WaterPartners to provide 55,000 people in Africa access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. Dow Chemical, P&G and PAHO also have made commitments.


Field Notes

USA: An annual survey conducted by the NUS Consulting Group found the average U.S. water price soared 7.3% for the period ending July 1, 2008. The survey, which includes 51 water systems nationwide, pinpointed Boston for highest price paid at $5.76 per one thousand gallons (KGal) while consumers in Savannah, Georgia, enjoyed the lowest water price at $1.09/KGal. The average 2008 U.S. water cost was $2.81/KGal. Including related sewer charges, the national average rose to $7.08/KGal – up 6.8% from July 2007. Since 2003, average U.S. water prices surveyed have jumped nearly 30%.

CANADA: Hydro International will supply the city of Ottawa with 940 Reg-U-Flo® Vortex Valve inlet control devices to alleviate basement flooding in the downtown area due to excessive stormwater and combined sewer overflows.

USA: HOBAS Pipe completed a record diameter sliplining project for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago – which operates about 535 miles of intercepting sewers in Cook County, Illinois, and collects, treats and disposes wastewater from 168 independently owned and operated local sewer systems. The Lake Street sewer rehab project, in the district’s Evanston Intercepting Sewer Rehabilitation program, involved 7,000 linear feet of 120-inch semi-elliptic cast-in-place concrete sewer.

ECUADOR: Quito is using Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks WS to bring “best in class” water supplies to its citizens. Situated on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano makes managing the capital city’s potable water network a challenge due to complexity and water pressures involved, according to Xavier Vidal, who works for Empresa Metropolitana de Alcantarillado y Agua Potable de Quito (EMAAP-Q), the municipal utility serving 392,000 households and 2.1 million people.

USA: Jacobs Engineering Group won a Dallas Water Utilities Department contract for $225 million in construction management services, including improvements to its oldest and largest water treatment plants. It also was put in charge of professional services for water, wastewater and reclaimed water infrastructure projects at Florida’s Polk County Utilities. And it will handle construction management for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Bay Tunnel Project, involving five miles of 9 ft. diameter tunnel below San Francisco Bay, two adjacent vertical shafts, and a watertight final lining of welded steel pipe.

USA: Frost & Sullivan has recognized JMAR Technologies Inc. with its 2008 North American Award for Product of the Year. Through continuous online monitoring and automated response within seconds, JMAR’s BioSentry Water Monitoring System is quickly changing how water is treated, distributed and protected. It uses laser-produced, multi-angle light scattering (MALS) to detect signatures of microorganisms and determine, within seconds, if a water supply is contaminated.

USA: The county public works department in Dover, Delaware, USA, chose Severn Trent Services’ MicroDynamics UV disinfection system for use at the Kent County Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, which treats 12 MGD on average with peak capacity at 18 MGD. The microwave UV technology was piloted there prior to selection, consistently treating wastewater well below the limit for Enterococcus at varying flow rates.

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