FIELD NOTES--AMERICAS

Brazil--The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that around 15% of the potable water on Earth is in Brazil...

Brazil: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that around 15% of the potable water on Earth is in Brazil, and according to Dr. Marcelo Chiaperini, a sanitation medical doctor, for every Brazilian Real invested in sanitation results in savings of R$ 4.30 (Real) in health (US$1=around R$ 3 Real).

Seventy percent of Brazil's hydrological resources are in the Amazon region, where 12% of the nation's 170 million people reside. Only 16% of the water is available to 70% of the inhabitants in Brazil's northeast, southeast and south regions, WWF-Brasil reported when it launched a US$ 1.6 million program in June 2003.

Brazil: Aracruz Celulose, one of the world's largest pulp and paper producers, announced research findings from its huge eucalyptus plantations in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo state.

The Watershed Project, launched ten years ago, focused on eucalyptus trees and the ways in which they interact with native Atlantic Forest reserves and the environment. The studies demonstrated that the consumption of water by Aracruz's eucalyptus plantations is similar to the consumption by native forests located on the company's reserves, according to Aracruz. This research improves the understanding of the hydrological aspects of commercial plantations and addresses forested watershed management elsewhere.

USA: Ionics, Incorporated signed an exclusive multi-year marketing and license agreement with Mitsubishi Rayon that gives Ionics the exclusive license for Steraporeā„¢ Hollow Fiber membranes for use in membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems for wastewater treatment applications in the Americas. A number of MBR systems incorporating the Sterapore membranes are already in commercial operations including locations in the Pacific Northwest, New England and the Caribbean. Ionics is based in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.

USA: Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) and Infiltrator Systems Inc. of Old Saybrook, Connecticut created the joint venture StormTech, a company that engineers and manufactures chambers for use in underground storm water detention and retention systems. ADS manufactures corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, and ISI produces subsurface polyolefin septic and stormwater chambers. The joint venture will be headquartered in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

During the past five years, ISI invested more than US$ 7 million to develop, test and produce underground stormwater chambers. ISI will design and manufacture the chambers for StormTech.

According to Jim Nichols, co-founder and president of ISI, the most economical and common method to manage stormwater runoff until recently, has been through wet or dry ponds. "In many areas, this is not longer a viable solution because of growing liabilities to human health and safety, as well as escalating land costs. Subsurface management of stormwater runoff saves valuable land and gives designers the flexibility to plan additional parking, increase building size and provide more green space."

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