Latin America water, coastal resources focus of NOAA, World Bank effort

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and World Bank signed an agreement in February to work together to help developing nations manage water resources, combat drought, and measure changes in climate with initial projects focused on Latin America – notably Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – with expansion to other regions later.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and World Bank signed an agreement in February to work together to help developing nations manage water resources, combat drought, and measure changes in climate with initial projects focused on Latin America – notably Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – with expansion to other regions later.

Since coastal problems often require multinational solutions, this new partnership allows NOAA scientists and resource managers and the bank to more readily assist global communities in building resilience to climate extremes. Specifically, the assistance can help establish early warningsystems, enhance and protect local ecosystems, and realize benefits of an integrated earth observing system.

The agreement serves as an umbrella for future projects like the one NOAA’s National Weather Service is discussing with Medellin, Colombia, to install a reliable flash flood guidance system. Other projects under discussion include: 1) mountain climate surface observing stations in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador; 2) water resources and drought management projects in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and 3) expanded marine environment ecosystem observations in the Caribbean. In other World Bank news:

  • A US$35 million loan was approved to increase incomes from sustainable use of natural resources and access to basic water and health services in Alto Solimões, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.
  • Malawi will receive another US$25 million grant to improve water supply and sanitation services in towns, market centres and rural areas.
  • Sri Lanka will get a US$65.33 million credit to ensure public safety from risks of ageing dams and to manage water resources.
  • A grant for US$5.25 million will go to Cameroon’s state-owned Camwater to expand access to urban and periurban water supply for 40,000 poor households.
  • A US$25 million credit goes to Pakistan’s Balochistan Province to improve management of scarce water resources in the Pishin Lora Basin.

H2O Innovation buys WTI, lands several contracts

H2O Innovation (2000) Inc., of Quebec City, Canada, signed an agreement between subsidiary H2O Innovation USA Inc. and Wastewater Technology Inc., of Monterey, Virginia, regarding acquisition of WTI from founder Donald Ricketts for US$2.68 million. This encompasses patented wastewater technology including an MBR system (Bio-Brane™ brand), activated sludge technology (Bio-Wheel™ brand), a project list of 70 systems installed in the USA, Eastern Europe and China, and a manufacturer agent network.

The company also recently won seven new contracts. Those announced in April totaled CAN$2,675,000 on top of CAN$3 million announced in March, bringing the firm’s backlog to CAN$17 million. In the USA, H2O subsidiary Membrane Systems Inc. (MSI), will install a system in Oxnard, California, to recycle 6 MGD of wastewater for drinking water. MSI also will install three RO units to produce 5 MGD of drinking water in Arizona’s Gila River Indian Community. And it was awarded a contract for two additional RO units producing 1.5 MGD on the Mainland Water Treatment RO Expansion Project for Currituck County, North Carolina, that it initially supplied in 2005.

In Canada, H20’s Alberta division Sigma Environmental will design and build an 84,000-GPD nanofiltration system for drinking water for an oil industry construction camp near Calgary. Sigma also will provide Primewest Energy components and specialized onsite services for a water treatment system installation.

H2O also will a second BiH2Omobiletype wastewater treatment unit to a mining camp in northern Quebec. It recently was nominated Supplier of the Year by the Manitoba Water & Wastewater Association. Lastly, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada chose H2O to replace the outdated water treatment facilities of the Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi native communities, both in Manitoba.

Severn Trent Services provides RO/DI system in Chile

A reverse osmosis (RO) system from Severn Trent Services was selected by Empresa Nacional de Energia S.A., Chile’s largest electricity producer, for use at a new thermal power plant in San Isidro, Chile, in the central region of the country. It’s a three-module UAT RO filtration system combined with deionization (DI) and carbonate systems to provide for effective filtration of process water at the plant. The new 1.29 MGD plant is currently in its start-up phase. The company was represented in the sale by Pro Equipos Ltda., of Santiago, Chile.

In other news, two of Severn Trent’s SORB 33 arsenic removal systems and Bayoxide E33 arsenic removal media will be deployed by Adaman Mutual Water Co., outside Phoenix, Arizona, USA, at its Well #1B to reduce arsenic levels below the federal MCL of 10 ppb.

U.S., Australia team up on water management

On April 8, USEPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and Australian Minister for Climate Change & Water Penny Wong signed a cooperative agreement for water management between the two nations. Meetings that included Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles, state and local officials concluded with a consensus to share information in areas of water research, regulatory practices and stewardship programs – including reuse/recycling, climate change policies, and regulatory practices in areas such as carbon sequestration and pharmaceuticals in the environment. The EPA also presented Environmental Quality Awards to 11 people and organizations from Puerto Rico, including Frank Coss, of COTICAM, and EcoEléctrica L.P.

Field Notes

USA: The Shaw Group chose Siemens Water Technologies for a system to treat wastewater from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubbers at Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Dickerson and Morgantown Power Plants and Mirant Chalk Point’s Chalk Point Power Plant, all in Maryland. Set for startup in 2010, the system removes suspended solids, heavy metals and organics from the FGD wastewater so it can be safely discharged.

MEXICO: CULTEC stormwater chambers were selected over a series of concrete detention tanks for a Costco warehouse built in Puerto Vallarta. It took Maiz Mier two weeks to install 297 Heavy Duty Recharger V8 chambers, which took up 1,106 m2 of the 50,000-m2 site. The entire bed is wrapped with CULTEC 410 Filter Fabric and sides lined in a thick polyethylene liner to detain stormwater and prevent it from infiltrating the sides of the bed. Two storm filters at both sides prevent silt and fines from entering the system, which has storage capacity of 30,000 ft3.

PUERTO RICO: The Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (PRASA) sold $1.5 billion in bonds in the local and U.S. municipal market – the first time in 20 years PRASA has accessed public markets, said executive president José Ortiz and Jorge Irizarry, president of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico. The financing represents an important development in the Commonwealth’s program to invest in new facilities and modernize its water delivery and sewage systems.

USA: American Water’s initial public offering of 58 million shares of common stock was priced at $21.50 per share. All of the shares are offered by selling stockholder RWE Aqua Holdings GmbH. American Water’s shares began trading April 23 on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “AWK.”

HONDURAS: A village established for displaced refugees after Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998 that faces a lack of water supplies got help from members and supporters of the Plastic Pipe & Fittings Association – including Georg Fischer Sloane, Hayward Industrial Products, IPEX, IPS, JM Eagle, LASCO Fittings, Mueller Industries, NIBCO, Shintech and Silver-Line Plastics. They provided a dependable water delivery and irrigation system to the village and the city of Villanueva agreed to contribute the well, pump and labor for installation.

CANADA/USA: BD Watertech, of Calgary, will represent John Meunier Inc., a Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies unit, in municipal wastewater markets in western Canada. This includes exclusivity on Veolia’s AnoxKaldnes MBBR technology. The city of New London, Connecticut, USA, also signed a $59-million, 10-year contract with Veolia Water North America - Northeast LLC for O&M of its water and wastewater systems – one of the largest U.S. networks managed by public-private partnership.

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