WaterBriefs: SFWMD points to progress on Everglades restoration

Also in this report: Taylor Technologies now ISO 9001:2000 certified; Court decides on American States Water power contract; Open Energy acquires WaterEye, remote water monitor systems; Water Wells for Africa to build 1,000 wells; LA-area water treatment plant returned to service; Calif. DWR extends deadline for Prop 50 water rants; American Water sells $900 million senior notes; CH2M Hill Water Technology Organization appoints new leaders; Aqua America makes five NJ, NC acquisitions...

Also in this report: Taylor Technologies now ISO 9001:2000 certified; American States Water power contract back to FERC; Open Energy acquires WaterEye; LA-area WTP back in service...

In other news below:
-- Taylor Technologies achieves ISO 9001:2000 certification
-- American States Water announces court decision on power contract
-- Open Energy acquires WaterEye, remote water monitoring systems
-- Water Wells for Africa plans to quench thirst of two million people
-- Water treatment plant serving LA, Orange Counties returned to service
-- Calif. DWR extends deadline for Prop 50 Water Use Efficiency Grant submissions
-- American Water announces results of $900 million senior note offering
-- Water Technology Organization at CH2M Hill appoints new leaders
-- Aqua America keeps growing with five new acquisitions in N.J., N.C.

Stepping up pace of Everglades restoration among South Florida Water Management District's 2006 accomplishments -- WEST PALM BEACH, FL, Dec. 21, 2006 -- From completing five and breaking ground on a half-dozen more Everglades restoration projects… to completing the total 102,061-acre land acquisition needed to finish Kissimmee River restoration…to successfully launching a new Small Business Enterprise program, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) notes a number of significant accomplishments achieved in 2006.

"Speeding construction of Everglades restoration projects through the state's $1.8 billion Acceler8 program was a top priority for the South Florida Water Management District this year," said Kevin McCarty, District Governing Board chairman. "And we did just that -- faster and at substantial savings to taxpayers using Certificates of Participation funding. We are the first agency in the country to use COPs for a natural resources project with the first $546 million issued this year."

Charged with the multi-mission challenge of restoring natural environments including the Everglades, protecting communities from extremes like flood and drought, ensuring water supply for future generations, and safeguarding water quality for wildlife and people, the South Florida Water Management District delivered in 2006.

"2006 was a phenomenal year," said Carol Ann Wehle, executive director for the District. "Our achievements are a huge testament to our dedicated staff, both on the resource protection and business operations sides of water management. We've been able to launch and complete many projects and take ecosystem restoration, flood control, and water resource planning and protection to new heights while continuing to hold millage rates steady."

With a total fiscal year budget of just over $1 billion -- including the $546 million borrowed funds needed for Acceler8 -- and a staff of 1,771 employees across 16-counties from Orlando to the Keys, the South Florida Water Management District reports a banner year in a long list of accomplishments. Everglades restoration and water quality construction starts and completions, Kissimmee River restoration land acquisition completions, Lake Okeechobee and estuary recovery initiatives, water control system/structure refurbishments and cutting-edge water supply policy implementation top the list of priorities and accomplishments this year.

"This was definitely a year of action and progress despite the on-going challenges presented by Mother Nature," Wehle added. "For example, a few years ago we had the worst drought ever followed by two years of multiple hurricanes and the highest Lake Okeechobee levels on record. Now we're in-between. Only Mother Nature is certain of what she's going to throw our way, but we are prepared to handle the cards she deals us."

For the full SFWMD news release, click here.

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Among other recent headlines:

Taylor Technologies achieves ISO 9001:2000 certification -- Test kit manufacturer's Quality Management System passes muster on first try -- SPARKS, MD, Dec. 22, 2006 -- William J. Erikson, director of Quality and Compliance for Taylor Technologies in Sparks, MD, is pleased to announce the firm has achieved certification to ISO 9001:2000, an internationally recognized quality management standard promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization. Independent auditors from accredited registrar Intertek Systems Certification visited Taylor in mid-November. Based on their findings, the Certificate of Registration was issued Nov. 29. Taylor Technologies' water analysis products are employed in a wide variety of applications, including food and beverage production, boiler and cooling system treatment, water pollution control, commercial and residential water conditioning, and swimming pool/spa maintenance. In 2006, the manufacturer celebrated its 76th year in business...

American States Water announces court decision on power contract -- SAN DIMAS, CA, Dec. 22, 2006 -- American States Water Company announced today that on Dec. 19, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion granting a petition filed by AWR subsidiary Golden State Water Company (GSWC), formerly Southern California Water Company, for a review of the orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which denied the company's complaint to seek a reduction in the rate under its long-term block energy purchase contract with Mirant Americas Energy Marketing L.P. The court's opinion remands the case back to the FERC, finding that the FERC applied the wrong legal standard and ignored relevant factors in denying the company's complaint. The FERC can request a rehearing by the Court of Appeals...

Open Energy acquires WaterEye, remote water monitoring systems -- Company plans to demonstrate first commercial Suncone desalination product in first quarter of 2007 -- SOLANA BEACH, CA, Dec. 22, 2006 -- Open Energy Corporation (OTC BB: OEGY), a renewable energy company focused on the development of solar technologies that produce renewable energy, fresh water and related resources, today signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held WaterEye Corp. in an all stock transaction worth approximately $3 million. WaterEye has developed proprietary remote monitoring and display technology for water systems, with customers that include GE Water, Siemens, Dow, Dupont and Poseidon Resources. This same monitoring package will be important as Open Energy launches Suncone CSP systems next year...

Water Wells for Africa plans to quench thirst of two million people -- Group will supply clean drinking water by providing 1,000 water wells -- MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, Dec. 22, 2006 -- Water Wells for Africa (WWFA), a project of The Breakwater Church, Manhattan Beach, CA, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clean water to African villagers, today announced their goal of building or rehabilitating 1000 water wells on the African Continent. Since 1996, Pastor Kurt Dahlin of the Breakwater Church has spearheaded an effort to provide clean water for over 140,000 villagers in southern Africa. Every year, the WWFA project sends a delegation to explore potential well sites and advance their mission of providing clean water to the African people. Each well can provide several thousand children and adult villagers with a source of clean water, which, in turn, improves their health and quality of life. Pastor Dahlin said, "We are proud to say that our effort has led to approximately 70 wells being opened allowing disease-free water to be dispensed in rural villages throughout Malawi. After seeing first-hand the difference that we've made, we have decided to raise our goal to 1000 wells, which could provide clean water and an improved quality of life to up to 2,000,000 people"...

Water treatment plant serving LA, Orange Counties returned to service -- LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2006 -- A major regional water treatment plant serving Los Angeles and Orange counties was back in service today after Metropolitan Water District shut down the plant for five days to prepare for upcoming upgrades. Consumers in Los Angeles County foothill communities and the San Gabriel, Walnut and Pomona valleys may now return to normal water usage, after being asked by Metropolitan and local water agencies to voluntarily conserve water while the district's F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in La Verne was taken out of service. The plant, which treats water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River, was shut down early Saturday, Dec. 16. It was returned to full service early this morning, after work was completed to prepare for upcoming efforts to improve the plant's water treatment processes and help decrease the need for shutdowns during future construction. Most local agencies in the Weymouth plant's service area had groundwater, reservoir supplies and other sources to call upon to meet retail demands during the outage. However, residents and businesses in the foothill communities of Altadena, La Cañada-Flintridge and La Crescenta as well as the communities of Industry, West Covina, Glendora, Walnut, Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar and San Dimas were called upon to voluntarily reduce their water use during the five-day outage...

Calif. DWR extends deadline for Prop 50 Water Use Efficiency Grant submissions -- SACRAMENTO, CA, Dec. 21, 2006 -- The California Department of Water Resources has extended its deadline for submission of the 2007 Proposition 50 Water Use Efficiency Proposal Solicitation Package Step 1 Concept Proposals to Friday, January 5, 2007. The original deadline was December 22, 2006. The deadline extension will allow all applicants additional time to prepare and submit (on-line) project proposals. Please note that applicants must use Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST) to prepare and submit on-line applications. Detailed information is available on the Final Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the 2007 Water Use Efficiency Program as well as a detailed guide on using FAAST Application at http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/finance/index.cfm...

American Water announces results of $900 million senior note offering -- VOORHEES, NJ, Dec. 21, 2006 -- American Water today announced that its financing subsidiary, American Water Capital Corporation (AWCC), has finalized an agreement to sell $900 million of Senior Unsecured Notes offered through a private placement. The maturities of the $900 million Senior Notes range from 7 to 15 years and carry final coupon rates of 5.39% to 5.77% per annum. AWCC has elected to close the sales on three separate dates to better match its funding requirements. The first closing of $483 million of Senior Notes occurred today. The second and third closings are expected to take place during 2007 on, or prior, to Jan. 31 and Feb. 15, respectively, subject to fulfillment of certain customary conditions...

Water Technology Organization at CH2M Hill appoints new leaders -- DENVER, CO, Dec. 21, 2006 -- CH2M Hill's Water Business Group announces personnel changes in the Water Technology Organization. Brock McEwen, technology director, reported that Raja Kadiyala has assumed the role of knowledge management global technology leader. Membrane technology for the drinking water infrastructure practice will be led by Bob Bergman and Jim Lozier. The two will team to coordinate the important and expanding role of membranes in water treatment, water reuse and desalination. Bergman and Lozier are recognized at the top membrane technologists within CH2M Hill and will use their new roles to expand this technology. Bergmanm will continue to coordinate North American desalination activities. Linda Mcpherson will add total water management to the portfolio of services she provides her work in water reuse policy and public acceptance. She will manage the firm's work with the WateReuse Association. Larry Schimmoller will take on the role of water reuse global technology leader. He has been actively involved in many of the firm's most successful water reuse projects and will be a great resource for clients who whish to expand into this market...

Aqua America keeps growing with five new acquisitions in N.J., N.C. -- Company expands water, wastewater utility operations -- BRYN MAWR, PA, Dec 21, 2006 -- Aqua America Inc. announced today that its subsidiaries completed five more acquisitions, adding seven water and wastewater systems to its regional networks in New Jersey and North Carolina. The combined purchase price for the acquisitions is approximately $120,000, and the company plans further capital investments to enhance water quality and wastewater service. Aqua New Jersey, Inc. acquired the water and wastewater system assets serving the California Village community in North Hanover Township, Burlington County. The systems provide water and wastewater service to approximately 400 residents. The company plans to invest more than $300,000 over the next five years for capital improvements to both systems. The upgrades include constructing a new well and treatment building, adding a water storage tank, replacing aging water main with new pipe, and installing state-of-the-art radio frequency water meter technology for all customers, as well as installing backup generators for the wastewater treatment plant and lift station to power the systems in the event of electrical failure. In North Carolina, the company closed four transactions, three of which involve troubled water systems that are eligible for a special state program that provides incentives for making required capital investments to address water quality, service reliability and water pressure problems...

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