China: The Project Management Organisation of the Songliao Water Resources Commission awarded a three-year contract to the UK consultancy Mott MacDonald, its Danish partner DHI Water & Environment and China’s Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower to develop a flood management system for the Songhua River. Funded under a loan obtained from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the project is scheduled for completion in 2007.
The Songhua River basin covers an area in excess of 556,800 km2 and serves a population of 53.5 million. The region experienced severe flooding in 1998, when 88 counties and some 17.3 million persons were affected. The £200 million project funded by ADB and the Government of China aims to improve flood defences and the management of floods, such as the 1998 event.
Mott MacDonald will help provide: a comprehensive flood information management system based on GIS; an advanced flood forecasting system; a hydrodynamic model for flood simulation; and a flood management decision support system based on the above components.
India: The Indian government is planning to introduce a new centrally-sponsored scheme to set up desalination plants for drinking water supply in coastal urban areas of the country, as envisaged in the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP).
The state governments in the Coromandel Coast, namely Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry invited proposals for setting up desalination plants. The state government of Orissa identified three towns - Puri, Konark and Gopalpur - for the project. Andhra Pradesh is in the process of preparing a project report for the installation of a desalination plant at a 1.5-million-litres/day capacity at Bhimunipatnam.
Pondicherry identified the town Muthialpet to provide a desalination plant at an estimated cost of Rs. 135 million. Tamil Nadu has identified Keelakarai, Ramanathanpuram, Thiruvottiyur, Kathivakkam, Ambattur and Madavaram. In addition, the government is actively considering setting up a Rs 10,000-million desalination plant at Chennai, as announced by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram earlier this year.
Nepal: An Asian Development Bank loan of US$20 million will improve the productivity of farmer-managed irrigation systems in the Central and Eastern Development regions of the country by renovating about 210 irrigation systems. Farmer-managed irrigation systems, each usually covering less than 2,000 ha, comprise about 55% of the total irrigated land in Nepal. Yet around half of the 620,000 ha of cultivated land irrigated under this system are in urgent need of rehabilitation.
Unreliable diversion structures, which are made of earth, logs or brushwood that are frequently washed away by floods, and rudimentary distribution systems causing unreliable water supply, high distribution loss, and high operation and maintenance costs lead to low productivity that barely rises above subsistence level.
Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City began construction of its first sewerage treatment plant last Saturday at Binh Chanh District’s Binh Hung Commune.
Japanese contractors Nishimatsu Construction Co Ltd, Ebara Corporation and Shimizu Corporation will construct the US$ 100-million project in 42 months that will be capable of treating 141,000 cubic metres of sewage per day.
The plant is part of the Ho Chi Minh City Water Environmental Sanitation Project, which is funded by loans from the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC). The sanitation project’s main objectives are to improve the city’s water systems and drainage by dredging city canals and upgrading wastewater and rainwater drainage systems. The canals to be dredged include Tau Hu, Ben Nghe, Kenh Doi and Kenh Te. The entire project is expected to cost more than US$ 265.2 million.