June 1, 2006
To meet the water and sanitation needs of expanding cities, local government leaders in the Asia-Pacific region must ensure that household sewage is treated at the source and that drinking water is not used for other purposes, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert.

Sewage should be treated at source, says ADB

To meet the water and sanitation needs of expanding cities, local government leaders in the Asia-Pacific region must ensure that household sewage is treated at the source and that drinking water is not used for other purposes, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert.

Kallidaikurichi Easwaran Seetharam, an ADB Principal Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, said during his keynote speech at the Mayors’ Asia-Pacific Environmental Summit (MAPES) on 9 May 2006 in Melbourne that the region risks not being able to provide water and sanitation systems to its expanding cities by 2015 if interim action is not taken now. Mr. Seetharam is also a member of the MAPES organizing committee.

“In 2002, about 669 million people were still without access to safe drinking water. Of the 2.6 billion people in the world without access to improved sanitation facilities, two billion are in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said. “By 2015, there will be 276 cities in the region, each with a population of more than one million people, and the region will have 12 of the region’s 26 mega-cities. It is vital that these cities are able to cope with the water and sanitations needs of these expanding urban populations. The immediate need is to provide 1-2 liters a day, per person, and implement local sanitation systems that deal with human waste at the household level,” he explained.

About 100 mayors and local government representatives from 20 Asia-Pacific countries attended the Mayors’ summit to commit to new environmental investments for their communities. Mr. Seetharam outlined the ADB’s role in the “Living Cities” program to achieve the Target 10 -- to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to water by 2015 -- of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. Seetharam stressed that while a primary goal is to deliver piped water to all communities, ultimately human waste should be treated at the source and not mixed with water and piped elsewhere. Human waste takes much longer to break down than other animal waste and even longer when mixed with water. Economical technologies can now process human waste at the community level.

ITT Flygt awarded 4th Olympic Course pumping station

Once again ITT Flygt has been awarded a contract to provide the complete pumping station for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Kayaking course. Under the US$1-million agreement, Flygt Beijing will provide six pumps, including control panels, capable of pushing as much as 5,000 gallons of water per second through the 500-meter course.

Building on an Olympic tradition of 16 years, this will be the fourth summer Olympics that the company provides the pumping station for the kayaking course. The sole stadium for all rowing events and canoe/kayak (flat water) and canoe/kayak (slalom) races, the Beijing Olympic Stadium will offer special racing courses and training/ warm-up courses, in addition to terminal lakes, connection trenches and water shoots.

The artificial kayaking-slalom stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is the most advanced and comprehensive courses in recent Olympic Games. Many new design innovations, including the ability to raise kayaks to the height of the starting point, will be realized for the first time in this stadium. Additionally, racing courses will be separated from warm-up courses and entertainment. The energy-efficient course will also consist of moveable obstacles that will simulate white water rapids and waterfalls.

Designed by Beijing Tian Hong Yuan Fang Design Institute, the course is slated for completion in March of 2007.

Infrastructure project to improve Ho Chi Minh water quality

In May 2006 Black & Veatch began working on a US$ 5.3 million contract with the Vietnamese Government to oversee and manage the Phuoc Hoa Water Resources Project, which will benefit approximately 30,000 households located in and around Ho Chi Minh City.

The project will improve water supplies for domestic and industrial use within the city and will increase Southern Vietnam’s aquaculture and agricultural output in more than 48,000 hectares of irrigation areas while developing better salinity control in downstream reaches of the Be, Saigon and Vam Co Dong rivers.

Rapid urban expansion and an increasing demand for water is negatively affecting the water supply to Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding agricultural areas. The Phuoc Hoa Water Resources Project will result in the construction of a barrage on the Be River that will retain 18.5 million cubic meters of water and will comprise an earth-fill embankment 900 meters in length. In addition, a 100-meter-wide spillway structure with a fixed crest overflow spillway in the central section and four radial gates, a 38-kilometer-long transfer canal. and a new irrigation system will be constructed. Black & Veatch began working on the design-phase of this project in 1999.

The Asian Development Bank, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the government, and project beneficiaries are funding the project. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will execute the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2010.

Field Notes

Australia: The Sydney Water Corporation of Sydney, Australia has been awarded the 2006 Stockholm Industry Water Award for its “Every Drop Counts (EDC) Business Program.” The prestigious industry award will be presented during the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, August 20-26, 2006. The program demonstrates how the utility is working in partnership with business, industry and government to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Sydney’s water supply.

Sydney Water is the largest water utility in Australia, the driest inhabited continent in the world, and supplies water to 4.2 million people. As part of its operating license requirement, Sydney Water is required to reduce per capita consumption by 35% during the period from 1991 to 2011. The EDC Business Program is a water conservation program for the business, industry and government sector, which represents around 30% of the total water use in the Sydney region.

The EDC Business Program addresses these challenges by promoting water management as a business issue rather than a technical issue. It begins by getting commitment from senior management, then implementing a process for ongoing diagnostic and improvement with the identification of specific opportunities for water conservation for each organization participating in the program. Since its inception in 2001, more than 310 organizations have joined the program achieving water savings of over 20 million liters a day - equivalent to around 20 Olympic swimming pools. The direct benefits in terms of water conservation are significant and are enhanced by the indirect benefits of energy savings and reduced wastewater flows. For more information, visit

India: The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed a US$ 253-million loan agreement for the second phase of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Project. The project will expand water supply facilities and develop a sewerage system in the Bangalore metropolitan area. Water will be pumped from the Cauvery River located 100 km southwest of Bangalore. Local industry, as well as Japanese companies operating in the region, is expected to benefit.

In particular, the project will focus on developing a water distribution and sewerage network in the region’s slums. For this project, the JBIC is co-operating with Cities Alliance, set up by the UN Habitat, the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Japan is increasingly focusing on India as a promising market for trade and foreign investment. Results of the JBIC Fiscal Year 2005 survey rated India as the second most promising country for investment after China.

Malaysia: A US$ 7.69-million mechanical and electrical sub-contract for a 40-mld water treatment plant in Papar, Malaysia, was awarded to Biwater’s Malaysian company, ADP Teknologi Sdn Bh. The water treatment plant will be completed and commissioned by the end of 2007. This is the second water treatment plant contract that Biwater Malaysia recently secured in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Its first contract in Sabah was for mechanical and electrical, design and construction of the 80-mld Talibong water treatment plant.

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