WaterBriefs: MWH wins Texas water competition

Also in this report: CHATA Biosystems takes silver at Pittcon; Emerson digital valve controller ATEX approved; Western water grant legislation introduced; Itron to acquire Brazilian partner; Amiantit awarded $25.4M in Mideast pipe orders; Envirosight names national sales manager; Pittsburgh to host water trading event; Golden State Water establishes military family relief fund; VISION Global to provide water billing system for Zimbabwe; Rohm and Haas partners for coatings biocide business...

In other news below:
-- New CHATA Biosystems technology takes silver at Pittcon
-- Emerson gains ATEX approval for digital valve controller
-- Western water grant legislation introduced in Congress
-- Itron to acquire distribution partner in Brazil
-- Amiantit awarded $25.4 million in Middle Eastern piping orders
-- Envirosight promotes Kelley to national sales manager
-- EPA/USDA water trading conference to be held in Pittsburgh
-- Golden State Water Co. establishes military family relief fund
-- ACWA statewide conference in Monterey to draw over 2,000
-- VISION Global Solutions to provide water billing system for Zimbabwe water authority
-- Rohm and Haas Europe partners with SpecialChem for coatings biocide business

MWH wins Texas water competition -- HOUSTON, April 11, 2006 -- MWH announced today it was awarded the top honor in a Texas water competition sponsored by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). A team of MWH water experts that operates the Houston Area Water Corp.'s Northeast Water Purification Plant won the 2006 Texas Section AWWA Top Ops contest at the annual state competition held in Austin. The competition tests everyday know-how of water treatment operators, with questions approved by the Association of Boards of Certification. Teams of three water operators compete against each other in a fast-paced question-and-answer tournament. A moderator poses a broad range of technical questions and the team scoring the most points in the championship round is recognized as the Top Ops Champion. MWH will now advance to the national Top Ops competition, which will be held at the AWWA Annual Conference in San Antonio in June...

And the 2006 Pittcon Editors' Silver Award goes to... -- CHATA Biosystems takes second place at premier industry competition; CHEM+MIX system judged as one of the most innovative new technologies for 2006 -- FORT COLLINS, CO, April 11, 2006 -- CHATA Biosystems, an innovator lab efficiency, announced that its newly released CHEM+MIX Automated Solution Preparation System won the 2006 Pittsburgh Conference Editors' Silver Award. Pittcon is the largest, most comprehensive laboratory sciences event in the world, attracting more than 20,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors from more than 80 countries. Each year Pittsburgh Conference Editors select the three most innovative new products introduced to the industry. Competing against a field of international companies, CHATA's CHEM+MIX system beat out products introduced by industry giants such as Agilent, Bio-Rad, and PerkinElmer. The system is a PC-controlled instrument that fully automates the preparation and pH adjustment of chemical solutions such as HPLC mobile phases, buffers, blended organic solvents, and aqueous solutions...

Emerson gains ATEX approval for digital valve controller -- Newest member of the FIELDVUE instrument family, the Fisher DVC2000 is approved for use in potentially explosive atmospheres -- MARSHALLTOWN, IA, April 11, 2006 -- Emerson Process Management announces that the Fisher® DVC2000 series digital valve controller now has ATEX Certification to EEx ia 11C T4/T5, making it suitable for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The DVC2000 is an intelligent valve controller with built-in real-time diagnostics and valve performance monitoring. Operational results are maximized when the controller is used with Fisher valves as a key component that powers Emerson's PlantWeb® digital architecture to improve control accuracy and process availability, while reducing operations and maintenance costs...

Western water grant legislation introduced in Congress -- WASHINGTON, DC, April 11, 2006 -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and Congresswoman Heather A. Wilson yesterday announced they're sponsoring legislation to authorize and expand a federal water assistance program used by New Mexico irrigation districts to improve water use efficiency and conservation. Domenici has introduced legislation in the Senate, and Wilson will follow with a measure in the House, to authorize the Water 2025 grant program. The bill (S.2561) will formally sanction the grant program which is administered by the Bureau of Reclamation through its Water 2025 initiative. The measure would ensure a steadier flow of federal funding, allowing up to $25 million annually for grant awards through 2016. The New Mexico lawmakers offered the legislation as one means of providing communities and water systems with an avenue to gain federal assistance for projects related to water conservation, water use efficiency, water markets, enhanced water management, or actions to prevent water-related crises or conflicts in watersheds. Over the past three years, Water 2025 grants have been awarded to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, San Juan River Dineh Water Users Inc., Carlsbad Irrigation District, the city of Las Cruces, and the state of New Mexico for work on the Pecos River...
Also see: "Domenici, Wilson introduce Water 2025 grant legislation"

Itron to acquire distribution partner in Brazil -- SPOKANE, WA, April 11, 2006 -- Itron Inc. announced today an agreement to acquire the stock of ELO Sistemas e Tecnologia Ltda. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006. ELO Tecnologia sells, installs and services electric meters, automatic meter reading (AMR) equipment and related systems in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. Meter services provided by the company include field investigation services, theft and inaccurate meter analysis, installation and other services. It has been Itron's distributor in South America since November 2004 and has been manufacturing Itron's CENTRON® solid-state electricity meters in Brazil since June 2005. Together, the two companies sold more than 85,000 CENTRON meters to utilities in Brazil in 2005, and have received orders for an additional 40,000 CENTRON meters to date in 2006. There are approximately 60 million installed electricity meters in Brazil. The estimated market opportunity is approximately 3 million meters annually and is expected to grow. Once the acquisition closes, Itron will have offices and a manufacturing assembly facility in Campinas and Sao Paulo, with approximately 80 employees performing sales, manufacturing, field investigations, installations and other services, and administrative functions...

Amiantit awarded $25.4 million in Middle Eastern piping orders -- 11 deals are for major projects in Yanbu, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. -- DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia, April 11, 2006 -- Continuing its recent run of major contract awards, the Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company has announced another 11 orders totalling US$25.4 million to supply pipes and accessories for projects in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Saudi Arabian orders amount to US$20.4 million and are for GRP (glass reinforced polyester) and GRE (glass reinforced epoxy) pipes produced at two Amiantit Group manufacturing facilities in Dammam: Amiantit Fiberglass Industries Limited (AFIL) and Bondstrand Ltd. The pipes are for gravity water and sewer systems at Saudi Aramco, Khurais, and for potable water, fire water, cooling water and oily water pipe systems for various projects in Rabigh, Jubail and Yanbu. Another Amiantit factory in Dammam, Saudi Arabian Ductile Pipe Systems Company Limited (SADIP), will be manufacturing ductile iron pipes and fittings to fulfill orders worth US$5 million for potable water networks in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The pipes will be supplied to the Shuweihat Water Transmission Scheme, Jabal Dhara to Sir Banyas Island (On-Shore) project, and the Water Network for Construction of Internal Roads in Mohammed Bin Zayed City project...

Envirosight promotes Kelley to national sales manager -- RANDOLPH, NJ, April 10, 2006 -- Envirosight LLC, a provider of video pipeline inspection solutions, announced the promotion of Jason Kelley to national sales manager. Kelley, who previously served as eastern regional sales manager, is now responsible for managing Envirosight's North American sales force as well as the sale of its full line of visual inspection equipment including robotic crawlers, zoom cameras, push cameras, custom inspection vehicles and inspection software. He joined Envirosight in 2003 as northeast sales manager. Before that he worked for Wincan Software, a leading developer of inspection, documentation and reporting applications based in Albuquerque, and Inground Camera Services in Charlotte, NC...

EPA/USDA water trading conference to be held in Pittsburgh -- WASHINGTON, DC, April 10, 2006 -- The EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture will co-host the Second Annual Water Quality Trading Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 23-25. Titled "Implementation at the Watershed Level," the conference is expected to draw over 500 attendees, including federal and state water officials, land-use managers, economists, conservationists, and international trading experts. Water-quality trading is an innovative, market-based approach to achieve cleaner water. This conference will highlight the economic and environmental benefits of trading, explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and implementing trading programs, and encourage discussion on the future of trading. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will deliver a keynote address. Other speakers invited include Chairman James Connaughton of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Secretary Mike Johanns of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Secretary Katie McGinty, of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles will chair a plenary session, "What Can Groups Do to Make Trading Happen?" Anyone wishing to attend the conference can register online at www.farmfoundation.org. A registration fee of $250 applies after April 21...
Also see:
-- "EPA, Corps of Engineers move to improve wetlands restoration, conservation"
-- "Saipan gets $1 million to fix wastewater problems"
-- "Two Philadelphia-area men charged with dumping untreated sewage into Delaware River"

Golden State Water Co. establishes military family relief fund -- Calif. utility receives approval to establish account providing water shutoff protection for military families -- SAN DIMAS, CA, April 10, 2006 -- Golden State Water Co. (GSWC), a subsidiary of American States Water Co., received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to establish the Military Family Relief Program. The program provides water service shut-off protection to the families and dependents of military personnel and reservists who have been called to active duty and/or deployed. This program is available to all active military personnel that live within GSWC's service area. It offers a 180-day payment deferral to assist military families who experience reduced income due to the deployment of the primary or secondary wage earner...

ACWA statewide conference in Monterey to draw over 2,000 -- Local, state water officials to converge on Monterey from May 9-12 -- SACRAMENTO, April 10, 2006 -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Spring Conference & Exhibition is set for May 9-12 at the Monterey Conference Center. The event -- themed "Get Real on Water!" -- is expected to draw over 2,000 local water officials as well as state and federal water leaders. Speakers slated for the event are PBS celebrity Huell Howser, host of the popular new PBS TV series "California's Water," and Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters, among others. Conference programming features topics such as "Perspectives and Lessons Learned on the Big One: The Floods of 1986," moderated by Pulitzer Prize winning Sacramento Bee editorial writer Tom Philp and "Delta Vision, The Governor and His Federal Partners" that will feature Jason Peltier, deputy assistant secretary for water and science, U.S. Department of the Interior, and Brig. Gen. Joseph Schroedel, commander and division engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Programs on water quality, energy, groundwater, and infrastructure funding will also take place, along with ethics courses and other activities. Kicking off the conference on May 9, is a seminar, "The Endangered Species Act: Where Are We Headed?," that will discuss the implications of all aspects of the ESA...
Also see:
-- "Governor declares state of emergency in seven counties"
-- "Delta waterways closed to recreational boating due to flood threat"
-- "Flood officials prepare for San Joaquin flood fight"

VISION Global Solutions to provide water billing system for Zimbabwe water authority -- MONTREAL, Canada, April 10, 2006 -- VISION Global Solutions, a developer and global provider of fully integrated business management software solutions, announced March 27 that it has been selected by the National Water Authority of Zimbabwe to develop a comprehensive and standardized water billing system for the country. The authority has accepted VISION's proposed program and the parties are currently engaged in finalizing a formal procurement contract. The customized effort is projected to generate nearly $450,000 in revenue for VISION over the next four months...

Rohm and Haas Europe partners with SpecialChem for coatings biocide business -- PARIS, France, April 10, 2006 -- Rohm and Haas Company and SpecialChem S.A. announced March 21 that they have entered a collaboration to further support the coatings industry through the launch of the Biocide Center, a web-based platform for biocide use in coatings. The center is a unique and completely new approach to the biocides industry as it offers coatings formulators the possibility to tap into a large panel of solutions on line 24-hours-a-day/7-days-a-week to resolve their specific needs...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: ITT hits million milestone with Goulds 3196 pump" -- Also in this report (April 10, 2006): Siemens to upgrade wastewater automation systems in Bialystok, Poland; Emerson's Micro Motion SIS Coriolis flowmeters safety certified; NFEI receives temporary surface water discharge permit for Slater Dome wells; First responders shown solar treatment systems at National Hurricane Conference; Columbia Metals Corp., BioteQ sign development agreement for Mexico project; Black & Veatch-designed Singapore desal plant wins global water distinction; PennWell acquires London-based sustainable energy, technology magazines; Ciba Specialty Chemicals names NAFTA region VP for water treatment; Abresist Corp. names Midwest sales engineer; New LA ad campaign insists consumers don't need extremes to save water, money; Baker completes acquisition of Buck Engineering; PaDEP announces expansion of abandoned mine cleanup program; Senate Democrats to examine if Halliburton gave unsafe water to Iraq troops...

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