WorldwideNews: ASIA PACIFIC

Recycled water from sewage treatment plants could held Australian farmers who are facing critical water shortages, according to the results of a study completed by the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.

Dec 1st, 2002

Recycled water help Australian cotton crops

Recycled water from sewage treatment plants could held Australian farmers who are facing critical water shortages, according to the results of a study completed by the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. A team of researchers investigated the feasibility of using recycled water and found it has the potential to significantly increase production levels and profits for farmers - particularly those producing cotton.

"The study showed that with access to assured recycled water from sewage treatment plants in southeast Queensland, crop production could increase while variability could decline, which means improved profits," said Dr. Lisa Brennan, who led the team of CSIRO researchers. Dr. Brennan also said using recycled water improves water flows in rivers and lessens pressure on highly stressed deep groundwater levels. "Because you're using recycled water, you don't always need to capture as much run-off or take as much water from boreholes."

One issue that needs further investigation is the management of salts in recycled water. "It is important to recognise that salts can have negative environmental consequences. But these can be minimised by matching the supply of water to the actual needs of cropping systems." A project to pipe wastewater to the Darling Downs may be underway in the next 12 months.

CSIRO and Darling Downs Vision 2000, a major stakeholder in the proposed South East Queensland Recycled Water scheme, jointly funded the scheme.

Ondeo-Ecotek to rebuild Taiwan treatment plant

Ondeo won a €90 million contract to rebuild and operate the Kaohsiung drinking water plant in Taiwan. Taiwan Water Supply Corporation entrusted the special-purpose company comprising Ondeo Degrémont and Ecotek, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese company China Steel, with the overhaul and operation of a drinking water plant in Kaohsiung.

The total amount of the contract carried out with Ecotek is €200 million, of which Ondeo Degrémont's share is €90 million. The contract covers the overhaul of some of the equipment, building new structures and operating the new plant for 15 years. The facility will produce 450,000 m3/day by May 2004.

Ondeo Degrémont proposed pulsated clarification, caustic soda carbonate removal, sand filtration, ozonation and activated carbon filtration to reduce water hardness and eliminate unpleasant odours and taste.

Asia tops treatment chemical sales

Growth in water treatment chemical sales in Asia exceed that of any other global region, according to the McIlvaine Company report "Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals: World Market." Revenues of the world water and wastewater treatment chemicals suppliers will exceed US$ 19 billion in 2006, an increase from US$ 14 billion in 2000. Power claims the largest segment with revenues of US$ 6 billion, but other markets include municipal water (including disinfection) and wastewater (www.mcilvainecompany.com).

China is rapidly expanding its purchases of chemicals, and is building more water and wastewater plants than any other country. India and other Asian countries will also increase purchases of treatment chemicals at rates greater than Europe and America.

The types of chemicals that are leading revenue producers are corrosion inhibitors and organic flocculants, which account for nearly US$ 8 billion in sales by 2006. Another US$ 5 billion will be spent on scale inhibitors and inorganic flocculants. The other US$ 6 billion will be spent on activated carbon, chelants, defoamers, ion exchange resins, oxidisers and biocides and pH inhibitors.

The restructuring of supplier and purchasing companies is changing the traditional routes to market. Two of the largest chemicals suppliers are part of companies that also sell equipment. Betz Dearborn is owned by General Electric, and Nalco is part of Ondeo, which is owned by Suez. In both cases, the conglomerate benefits from the ability to sell the original equipment and subsequent chemicals to keep it running.

New applications for treatment chemicals continue to develop, including wastewater reuse and odour removal from wastewater.

Membrane distribution agreements open up Chinese market

The German membrane manufacturer inge AG, based in Greifenberg, signed two distribution contracts with Spring Membrane Technology of Nanjing and Beijing Landi Technology Co. Ltd. of Beijing on 13 November.

Spring Membrane Technology, a subsidiary of the state-owned Jiangsu Airline Industrial Group (JAIG), will sell inge AG technology through this network. The second partner, Beijing Landi Technology Co. Ltd., maintains headquarters in Beijing and branch offices in all provinces of the country, and forms part of the China Blue Star group of companies.

Beijing Landi expands it own membrane selection with inge AG's ultrafiltration technology with high treatment capacity. The technology is marketed to customers active in central drinking water plants and specific customers, such as hospitals or local sewage reprocessing plants.

FIELD NOTES

China: The Zhejiang Urban Development Project Office (ZUDPO) appointed the UK consultancy Mott MacDonald to help design and secure funding for a multi-development project in China's coastal province. Mott MacDonald will lead an international project team comprising Thames Water International, Hong Kong University and independent consultants.

The US$ 400 million project will involve upgrading the collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater and solid wastes; improving urban infrastructure services, such as the rehabilitation of inner waterways, lakes and roads; and conserving cultural heritage in the Zhejiang province cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing. Physical works will be supported by institutional and financial reforms in the wastewater and solid waste management sub-sectors, in addition to capacity building within various project implementing and operating entities.

China: Recent growth in the geographic information system (GIS) software market in China led ESRI Hong Kong Limited to rename the company ESRI China (Hong Kong). Super Full Technology Co., Ltd, a long-time distributor of ESRI's software in China, will join the ESRI-named international marketing network by opening a new company named ESRI China (Beijing). Both distributors will continue their services and marketing efforts in Hong Kong and China, respectively. ESRI is based in Redlands, California, USA.

Japan: ADI Group Inc. of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, signed a licensing agreement with Sanix Incorporated of Hakata-du, Fukuola for ADI's Media G2® and Sulta-Bind™ that applies to all Japan, an emerging market for ADI.

Media G2 is a patented medium used in the removal of arsenic from drinking water. Sufa-Bind is used for the removal of hydrogen sulphide from gas. ADI currently has four arsenic removal systems in Japan, with several pilot tests underway. In an expansion move Sanix is in the process of merging with Aqua Plant of Tokyo, a current licensee of ADI's Media G2. Sanix will be the first licensee of ADI's newly patented Sulfa-Bind media.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: The Asian Development Bank loaned US$ 15 million to foster integrated water resources management of the Nam Ngum River Basin among central, provincial and district levels of government. The Basin has great potential for hydropower generation; however the existing Nam Ngum-1 reservoir with 150-mW installed capacity, is not operating at full efficiency, resulting in hydropower generation falling short of potential and affecting the downstream ecosystem. In addition, subwatersheds in the upper basin are under pressure from agriculture.

The project's three main components will -

  • strengthen the capacity of key central and basin level water coordinating bodies;
  • develop a river basin model for the Nam Ngum-1 reservoir to optimise power generation, mitigate floods and improve water use efficiency in the Basin;
  • improve watershed management by strengthening capacity of rural communities and relevant government departments, increasing crop management; and preserving and restoring forests.

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