FIELD NOTES -- AMERICAS

The newspaper El Universal reported on 10 October that more than 150 women from the neighbourhoods of Potrero and La Laguna in Coacalco, México State, blocked a road, protesting that the municipal water, sewerage and sanitation department had failed to restore water service to their homes for more than one month.

Mexico: The newspaper El Universal reported on 10 October that more than 150 women from the neighbourhoods of Potrero and La Laguna in Coacalco, México State, blocked a road, protesting that the municipal water, sewerage and sanitation department had failed to restore water service to their homes for more than one month. The protesters said that they had met with Ignacio Lavadores Ramos, president of the municipal utility, who promised to restore service in a few days. The problem remained unresolved so the women set up a roadblock. A director of the municipal utility promised to investigate the problem, which he presumed was caused by an electricity failure. The protestors threatened to close down the street again if the problem was not solved or take their case directly to the municipal president.

Peru: The national government is negotiating with multinational lending agencies to obtain US$ 225 million in funding for water and sanitation projects. The World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency are jointly financing a US$ 8-million pilot study of water sanitation models adapted to the different conditions in Peruvian regions, including the Andean highlands, Amazon jungle and the coast. The study is expected to benefit more than 250,000 Peruvians in 23 municipalities, according to the World Bank.

USA: Colorado Springs Utilities awarded a contract to Garney Companies, Inc. in association with URS Corporation to provide professional engineering and construction services for the completion of the first phase of a US$ 12-million groundwater collection system project. The project will enable CSU to provide Colorado Springs' customers in the city's rapidly growing northern area with groundwater that can serve as a back-up source of supply during current drought conditions.

The project involves the preparation of a groundwater collection plan that will incorporate future phases with a total groundwater production capacity of 10 mgd. Specific tasks include sizing of well pumps, design of the groundwater collection system piping and groundwater treatment facilities. New groundwater treatment facilities will be incorporated into existing potable water pumping stations, expanding existing groundwater treatment facilities and installing new groundwater treatment facilities.

Phase 1 involves three sites and eight wells, which will be operational by April 2004.

USA: The private equity group consisting of The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management, L.P., and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners completed the acquisition of Ondeo Nalco Company from Suez, S.A. on 5 November. The group tendered an offer for Ondeo Nalco in September for US$ 4.2 billion. The officially renamed Nalco Company will operate as a privately held, independent business.

Nalco provides integrated water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals and equipment programs for industrial and institutional applications. The company operates in 130 countries, supported by a network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centres.

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