Field Notes: ASIA

Australia: Rainfall averaged over the entire Australian continent has increased over the past 50 years, according to new research conducted by CSIRO Atmospheric Research in Australia (www.

Australia: Rainfall averaged over the entire Australian continent has increased over the past 50 years, according to new research conducted by CSIRO Atmospheric Research in Australia (www.csiro.au.com) While many areas over the continent recently have experienced drought, the trend in other areas has been towards wetter conditions.

“Unfortunately, the wetter conditions have occurred in the more sparsely populated regions,” Dr. Ian Smith, a climate scientist at CSIRO reported. His analysis of rainfall data compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology shows that rainfall has increased over the summer half of the year in large parts of western, northern and central Australia between 1952 and 2002.

The trends are sufficiently large and widespread to be classified as unusual in a historical context,” Dr. Smith explained. “Furthermore, the wetter conditions may be signs of a changing climate as foreshadowed by climate experts almost 20 years ago,” he added.

Indonesia: Biwater’s joint venture, Cascal, with help from its water companies in the UK (Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water-BWH) and Indonesia (PT Adhya Tirta Batam-ATB) organised aid to Indonesia when they were contacted by the Medan City Water Company (PDAM Medan) with a request for skilled personnel and package water treatment plant. BWH provided one trailer-mounted water treatment plant that produces water for up to 50,000 people, two skid-mounted water treatment plants to supply up to 16,000 people each, temporary storage tanks and 100 days stock of chemicals, tool and provisions.

ATB staff will operate the plants for up to three months during which time they will train suitable Acehnese staff to take over operations.

Philippines: The local distributor OSP of the UK company Viking Johnson secured a contract to supply MaxiFit and other couplings for the Eastern Zone of Manila’s water distribution system, operated by the Manila Water Company. Approximately 6,000 fittings have been supplied to date as part of a major repair and expansion of the system. Extensive rehabilitation in the Eastern Zone has reduced non-revenue water by 14%. In 1997, less than two-thirds of the 11 million population had a piped supply and more than half the water in the system leaked or was taken by illegal connection.

Designed for use with plain-ended pipes, the Maxifit accommodates different outside diameters and connects all common pipe materials, such as steel, ductile and cast iron, PVCu, and asbestos cement. Consequently, it can be used to repair the many different pipe materials encountered in Metro Manila.

Sri Lanka: The Australian government is sponsoring a project to provide clean water to Sri Lankans affected by the tsunami disaster. Launched on 10 February, the “Tsunami Clean Water Project” will donate water treatment plants to villages to make available uncontaminated water. The water purification units to be provided will remove turbidity, bacteria in water with chlorine dosing and members of local community will be trained to operate and maintain the system.

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