Global Talk: China & USA team on water, energy efficiency

Dec. 16, 2008
With the global economy mired in turmoil for the foreseeable future, many eyes in the water and wastewater industry are turning toward what's viewed as more stable markets like China and India...

• In other news, Pollutec draws record crowd and IFAT moves to biennial format

By Carlos David Mogollon

with the global economy mired in turmoil for the foreseeable future, many eyes in the water and wastewater industry are turning toward what's viewed as more stable markets like China and India.

In my last column (see: "Global Talk: A Trickle or a Flood?"), I wrote of infrastructure investment plans as part of economic stimulus plans of both China and the incoming Obama Administration in the USA.

One thing I forgot to mention that was also the subject of discussion during the Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) 100th Annual Conference in Tucson last month -- and related to a press release Monday from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) -- was a "Water Quality Cooperation Program" that's the product of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue overseen by the U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) -- an independent U.S. government foreign assistance agency funded by the U.S. Congress.

It was announced Dec. 4 that USTDA director Larry Walther signed two bilateral agreements in China to promote improved energy efficiency and water quality, one involving the program mentioned at the WWEMA conference that involves funding a public-private partnership to sponsor "at least 12 technical seminars/workshops on topics such as pollution monitoring and control, policy mechanisms, and best practices in improving water quality." These would be driven by U.S. companies partnering to share their technological expertise to help solve related problems in China due to rapid industrialization and urbanization there

WEF provides little additional detail in its announcement Monday, calling it an "'eco-partnership' to mobilize private sector expertise and resources to address water quality issues in China" and priority projects, many of which have been identified in the Ten-Year Framework of the China Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) which has been working in collaboration with the USEPA on the effort. It notes that the WaterReuse Association also is a partner in the program. For more information, contact WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney at [email protected] or +1-703-444-1777.

In other news, Pollutec came off without a hitch Dec. 2-5 in Lyon, France, where it's almost twice as large as its off-year venue in Paris. In fact -- bearing out the strength of the global market -- the exhibition drew a record 73,668 visitors over four days, a 9.4% increase over the last time it was held in Lyon. In addition, international visitors -- at 8,422 from 110 countries -- represented 11.4% of total visitors, up from 11% in 2006. The event is the second largest environmental trade show in the world behind IFAT in Munich, which also announced Monday that it would be moving from a three-year cycle to a two-year cycle. WWI

Author's Note: Carlos David Mogollon is managing editor of Water & Wastewater International magazine. To send him a message, click here: [email protected]

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