PPP plans in Serbia progress

German company Barthauer has moved forward with efforts to develop across Serbia with the city of Subotica in the north signed up as the first pilot customer.

PPP plans in Serbia progress

German company Barthauer has moved forward with efforts to develop across Serbia with the city of Subotica in the north signed up as the first pilot customer.

This followed the company obtaining support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in August of 2015. This was under the develoPPP.de program with the project “Management System for the Operation of Water Supply and Disposal Systems”.

According to the firm, in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina it’s rare for public operating companies in the water sector to have comprehensive and complete digital information about existing network infrastructure. As a result, this causes false estimates in the course of planning and implementing projects and measures.

For its public-private partnership (PPP) project, BARTHAUER set the goal of convincing the local water operations in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement its network information system BaSYS.

Wastewater grown algae powers Volkswagen in Spain

The first Volkswagen vehicle that will be powered by algae biogas has been presented to the All-gas project at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of El Torno Chiclana.

As part of the project, biogas is created at the Chiclana WWTP through microalgae cultivation whereby microalgae feeds on organic wastewater sent to the facility for treatment.

The Volkswagen Up! vehicle can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as biogas, as tested by the All-gas team.

The vehicle’s engine generates zero emissions, according to Spanish firm Aqualia who is running the trial, as well as an emergency fuel tank if a gas refuelling station cannot be reached.

It was in August 2013 when the All-gas project announced that the first batch of its algae biomass had been successful grown.

Frank Rogalla, director of technology & innovation, Aqualia, said: “For the first time in the history of humanity a car will be fueled with a full batch of algae biogas. This is the culmination of five years of hard work and a very proud moment for Aqualia.”

Rogalla added: “The way this algae is cultivated is twice as productive per hectare as other biofuels. This means it is a fuel with a positive energy balance, and therefore significant commercial viability.”

Wastewater expansion in Mumbai, India

Black & Veatch (B&V) will help the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) expand wastewater treatment planta (WWTP) in the city.

As part of the project, the US firm will undertake a feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report and tender document, for the proposed 847,000 m3/day Malad Zone WWTF. The project, once commissioned, will be India’s largest.

The consultancy will be involved in designing a modern WWTP to mitigate coastal pollution. Further environmental benefits will be achieved through water reuse; wastewater will be treated for non-potable applications, reducing the stress on Mumbai’s water resources.

As part of the project, B&V will assess the possibility of using space at five satellite pumping stations - at Gorai, Vallabh Nagar, Charkop, Shimpoli, Goregaon and Malad IPS - for WWTPs, as an alternative to creating a single, large WWTF at Malad.

One of the reasons for the project is compliance to new discharge standards revised by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Mali to reduce NRW

The Malian Drinking Water Supply Management Company, a water provider to 160,000 customers in Mali in Western Africa, has partnered with Itron to help decrease non-revenue water (NRW) following a successful trial.

The utility will use Itron’s residential and commercial & industrial water metering automation and monitoring solutions, including software-as-a-service for analytics and meter data management, to decrease its non-revenue water levels.

A pilot project targeting a dedicated district metered area (DMA) in Bamako, La Cité du Niger, featured encouraging results in a short period of time, according to Itron. Network efficiency was improved in the DMA by 14%, decreasing the amount of water lost every month by half. This led to the new contract to deploy Itron solutions in another larger DMA, where nearly 60,000 metering points are managed.

Antwerp to get water meter upgrade

Danish metering solutions provider Kamstrup has won it’s biggest contract to date to supply around 193,000 intelligent water meters to Antwerp city utility Water-Link.

In total, 1000 meters will be provided to start as part of a 12-month trial with the rest of the meters to be installed towards the end of 2017, with the project due to be completed in 2021.

Water-Link project engineer, Jan Van Cappellen, said: “The intelligent water meter is the foundation for effectively managing drinking water in a sustainable manner.”

The aim of the metering project is for Water-Link to measure extremely low flows and detect leaks, bursts and tampering - ensuring water loss is discovered quickly.

Suez to operate WWTPs in Poland over 30 years

French company Suez has signed a €77 million contract with the city of Mlawa in Poland to manage the city’s sewage treatment infrastructure. Under the contract, Suez will operate the existing wastewater treatment plant, originally built in 1999, for three years. The company will then design, build, and finance a new wastewater treatment plant within three years. This will then be operated for a period of 30 years.

The new WWTP will have a capacity of 5200 m3/day and will be designed to remove pollutants dissolved in watewater such as organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds. It is hoped the project will improve the nearby Seracz river.

Anglian Water targets zero bursts in new trial

UK utility Anglian Water has started a trial with Sensus and Arqiva to deploy 7,500 smart water meters in and around the Suffolk area. Three of the broader objectives inlcude to ensure zero bursts or leakage and reduce water consumption to 80 litres per head, per day.

Residential and non-residential properties will be covered throughout the trial, with hourly usage readings fed back to the utility to better understand water consumption.

The project is part of Anglian Water’s wider Innovation Shop Window, where companies can test innovative projects.

Brexit: UK water sector reaction

On June 24th the UK woke up to the surprising news that the majority in England had voted for the country to leave the European Union (EU).

It was announced that 51.9% of voters (17.4m) decided to leave the EU, against 48.1% (16.1m) who voted to remain.

As a result of the decision, the British pound fell to a 30-year low amid news of the British exit, known as the Brexit, from the EU.

With the pound now steadying and the FTSE 100 rebounding, what will the decision mean for the UK’s water sector?

EU regulation such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Bathing Water Directive (BWD) have been credited with helping to clean up the country’s waterways and beaches.

Under the vote, Article 50 - a clause that allows the UK to leave the EU - would need to be triggered for the country to separate from the Union.

Dr David Lloyd Owen, managing director of consultancy, Envisager, told WWi: “If Article 50 is put into motion in the next few months, we are looking at Brexit by the end of 2018. That means the UK could be ‘free’ from the WFD before the end of the second management cycle in 2021.

“However, if the UK wishes to do business with Europe, it may well find that as in the cases of Norway and Switzerland, it is a case of ‘pay and no say’ whereby they are bound to comply with EU directives but play no role in the development of this legislation.”

Meanwhile, industry trade association British Water said the decision to leave the European Union is “certain to have a significant impact on a sector where considerable investment is driven by EU directives on water, wastewater and the environment”.

Lloyd Martin, chief executive of British Water, said: “Following the result of the referendum on EU membership, industry finds itself in uncertain yet stimulating times...As we move into this new era, we will be seeking early clarity of what the post-AMP6 [2020 onwards] landscape may look like for the UK water sector, on behalf of our members. Our membership will welcome stability and we can provide members with expert guidance through our technical and UK forums.”

In a briefing paper posted ahead of the EU referendum vote, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), said “the logic of an EU-led initiative on the environment is sound”.

CIWEM added: “Differing environmental approaches member state to member state could significantly undermine the principle of free trade within the European Community. Moreover, increasingly environmental challenges from air pollution to water quality have been understood as transboundary in nature and have required a multi-national approach to resolve. Taking this principle further, negotiations on global environmental challenges have been more effective as a bloc of collective national opinion and commitment.”

The institution highlighted that since the first Environmental Action Programme in 1973, over 500 directives, regulations and decisions are said to have been made regarding environmental management within Europe.

On the topic of energy, as a member of the European Union, the UK has signed up to the Renewable Energy Directive, which mandates the EU as a whole to fulfil 20% of its total energy demand by renewables by 2020.

Following the EU referendum decision, Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said: “This result raises serious questions for investor certainty, energy security and much needed investment in the UK energy infrastructure.”

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