WaterBriefs: Feds approve Las Vegas plan for reservoir near Mexico border

Also in this report: United Water unit merger, new rate plan approved; N.J. American Water agrees to purchase S.J. Services; Siemens Water Technologies expands on Singapore R&D center plan; China to be world's largest ultrapure water purchaser by 2020; World Bank to study Pakistani-Afghani water treaty; U. Manchester water expert makes contribution to improving global health; European chemical regulations to impact U.S. businesses; Spencer promoted to project manager for DL Engineering...

In other news below:
-- United Water New York, United Water South County merger, new rate plan approved
-- New Jersey American Water agrees to purchase S.J. Services Inc.
-- Siemens Water Technologies to build US$32.88 million R&D center in Singapore
-- China will be world's largest ultrapure water purchaser by 2020
-- World Bank to study Pakistani-Afghani water treaty
-- U. Manchester water expert makes contribution to improving global health
-- U.S. businesses, consumers to feel effects of massive European chemical regulations
-- Spencer promoted to project manager for DL Engineering

New legislation to provide Nevada additional Colorado River water -- New reservoir authorized by Congress would capture "canceled" orders, funnel water to Nevada -- LAS VEGAS, NV, Dec. 14, 2006 -- Congress passed a bill Monday that includes language directing the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) to construct a new reservoir in Southern California that would capture billions of gallons of Colorado River water requested by Arizona and California users but not used. The project, currently estimated at $84 million, would be funded by Nevada in exchange for the right to withdraw a total of 280,000 acre-feet of water on an as-needed basis.

"We in Southern Nevada owe a great debt of gratitude to Senators Reid and Ensign for championing this bill, which provides yet another tool to help us protect the reliability of this community's water supply," said Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) General Manager Patricia Mulroy. "Like the Arizona and California water storage banks we have created, this new reservoir allows us to optimize our use of the Colorado River."

The so-called "Drop 2 Structure" would be located in Southern California. Under the rules governing use of the Colorado River, irrigators or municipalities can request that the Bureau release water from Lake Mead for their use. However, it often takes several days for that water to reach its destination. If during that period the requestor no longer needs the water due to rainfall or other circumstances, they have the option of "canceling" the order. There is currently no way to capture and store that water for later use, and it is not counted against the requestor's allotment.

The Bureau estimates that the proposed reservoir will conserve an average of 60,000 acre-feet of water—nearly 20 billion gallons—per year. Over the structure's projected 50-year lifespan, the total savings equates to 3 million acre-feet.

"Not only is this good for Nevada and the entire river basin, it is just good common-sense water management policy," Mulroy said. "Like the lining of the All-American Canal, we view the construction of the Drop 2 structure as an important water efficiency measure. Those of use who rely upon the Colorado River cannot afford to waste a drop."

The legislation will now be forwarded to the president for approval. The Bureau has not yet established a construction schedule.

Also see: "SNWA earns national Water Efficiency Leader Award"

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Among other recent headlines:


Merger, new rate plan for United Water New York and United Water South County approved -- NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2006 -- The New York State Public Service Commission yesterday approved the merger of United Water New York Inc. and United Water South County Water Inc. and adopted a three-year rate plan for the merged company (the Company). The rate plan contains numerous provisions for investment, especially in underground facilities needed to safely and reliably deliver adequate water supply. In the January 2006 initial filings, the two companies proposed combined annual base rate revenue increases of $15.1 million (33.8 percent) in 2007, $4.6 million (7.7 percent) in 2008, and $3.3 million (5.1 percent) in 2009 to cover capital costs not reflected in prior rate proceedings and increasing operational costs. The companies also proposed two surcharges that would increase customer bills by an average of 2.0 percent, 6.6%and 1.6%over the years 2007 through 2009, respectively. In February 2006, the two companies jointly filed a petition to merge...
Also see: "United Water dedicates new $16.7 water treatment plant: Innovative membrane filtration technology helps company meet future regulations"

New Jersey American Water agrees to purchase S.J. Services Inc. -- VOORHEES, NJ, Dec. 14, 2006 -- American Water announced today that its subsidiary, New Jersey American Water, has agreed to purchase S.J. Services Inc. The acquisition will expand New Jersey American Water's service area and customer base deeper into Southern New Jersey. Purchase of S.J. Services Inc. includes the South Jersey Water Supply Company in southern Gloucester County and Pennsgrove Water Supply Company in northern Salem County. The acquisition will allow New Jersey American Water to increase its statewide customer base by approximately 6,500. And, with the addition of Salem County, the company will have a presence in 17 of the state's 21 counties. The acquisition requires New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval and is expected to close sometime in 2007. The purchase will allow New Jersey American Water to expand its services into a high-growth area of the state where additional water resources are needed for economic development.

US$32.88 million investment makes Singapore center for R&D of Siemens Water Technologies -- Siemens invests EUR 25 million to expand its Singapore location to become the center for water and wastewater technologies in Asia -- WARRENDALE, PA, Dec. 14, 2006 -- With investments of EUR 25 million, technology transfers, and research and development projects, Siemens is expanding its Singapore location within the next five years into a competence center for water and wastewater technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. Roger Radke, Head of the Water Technologies Division in Siemens' Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) Group, said to the press in Singapore, "The natural water resources in Asian countries are inadequate to ensure the further development of industry and communities. Water treatment and recycling technologies are essential prerequisites for continuing growth and prosperity in Asia." Siemens signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PUB, Singapore's national water agency for collaboration in R& D projects in water and used water treatment...

China will be world's largest ultrapure water purchaser by 2020 -- NORTHFIELD, IL, Dec. 14, 2006 -- Already the biggest purchaser of ultrapure water (UPW) for the power industry, its fifth largest for all industries, as reflected in revenues of contractors installing UPW systems, says the McIlvaine Company in its online "Ultrapure Water World Markets" report. The total market for UPW -- used to generate steam in power plants, to wash chips in semiconductor plants, and for human injectables in the pharmaceutical industry -- is forecast to rise from $3.5 billion in 2006 to over $5 billion in 2010...
Also see: "Key projects under way on 300 municipal wastewater systems of 16,000 installed U.S. plants"

World Bank to study Pakistani-Afghani water treaty -- ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec 14, 2006 -- The World Bank (WB) showed willingness to conduct a study for a water treaty between Pakistan and Afghanistan, provided that both the countries desired so, said a report here Thursday. John Wall, the WB Country Director, in an interview with The News daily said the bank would not hesitate in facilitating both Islamabad and Kabul entering into a water treaty on the pattern of the water treaty signed in 1960 between Pakistan and India. Sharing of river waters by Pakistan and Afghanistan is developing into a major row between the two neighbors. Faced with an acute water shortage anticipated to worsen in the years to come, Pakistan wants to build series of multipurpose dams on rivers, having origins in Afghanistan but the consent of later is essential for assured water availability. But Afghanistan also has plans to construct its own projects to utilize the maximum water available. If the Karzai government was to go ahead with its hydroelectric project on the Kabul River, it would have a negligible effect on Pakistan's water share, said the daily. The World Bank had brokered the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan in 1960. The World Bank has agreed to become a facilitator in brokering the similar treaty between Islamabad and Kabul but has refused to act as a guarantor of the treaty...
Also see:
-- "World Bank Supports Hydropower in Iraq" (12/12/06)
-- "High-risk water infrastructure at any cost" (11/23/06)
-- "Madagascar: World Bank Supports Irrigation and Watershed Management Project with US$30 Million Credit" (11/14/06)
-- "Nam Theun 2 Hydro Project Gains Momentum: Increased Emphasis on Livelihood Development for Affected Vietnamese People" (11/3/06)
-- "Bank Board Approves Southern Pakistan Water Management Action Plan: World Bank Discusses Inspection Panel Investigation Into Indus Basin Drainage Projects"
(11/2/06)

U. Manchester water expert makes contribution to improving global health -- MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec. 13, 2006 -- A University of Manchester researcher has won a prestigious award for an innovation that could help deliver pollution-free water to people around the world. Dr. Nigel W Brown has been given the Award for Innovation by the Royal Society of Chemistry Process Technology Group, in recognition of five years of research into a system called Aquacart that removes toxic organic contaminants from waste water. Harmful compounds can be removed from sewage and waste water by a process called 'activated carbon adsorption' -- a technique used in kitchen water filters. On an industrial scale the carbon used is regenerated at high temperature, which is a complex and costly business. Dr. Brown's Aquacart system makes use of a new material called Nyex. This has a high electrical conductivity allowing fast, effective and cheap electrochemical regeneration, which allows the material to be used again. Using this technology, it appears that pollutants are completely destroyed, leaving no residue. The award from the RSC -- sponsored by AstraZeneca, British Nuclear Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Syngenta -- recognises the practical application of Dr Brown's innovative cleaning process, which is housed in a special unit. For the first time, this unit allows simultaneous and continuous adsorption and regeneration to take place. It has a simple design, no moving parts and low costs -- and its success has led to two patent applications...

U.S. businesses, consumers to feel effects of massive European chemical regulations -- European Parliament passes onerous chemicals policy -- WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 13, 2006 -- Today, the European Parliament passed a bill to vastly expand the European Union's regulation of chemicals. "The new program will have negative economic impacts around the world and likely serve as a trade barrier to U.S. businesses," said Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The program, known as REACH—for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals—would require companies to submit data to register more than 30,000 chemicals with EU regulators, the vast majority of which are already on the market. Some chemicals would also have to undergo additional study and regulatory processes, which can lead to bans and other restrictions. REACH regulations will be based on the precautionary principle—which demands that manufacturers prove their products are "safe" before regulators allow them into commerce...

James Spencer promoted to project manager for DL Engineering -- LAS VEGAS, Dec. 12, 2006 -- DL Engineering & Controls LLC (DLEC) is pleased to announce that James Spencer, P.E., has been promoted to project manager. He has been with the company since April, 2000, and received his Professional Engineer certification (P.E.) in June of this year. James is experienced in both instrumentation and control (I&C) and electrical design and programming, and is ArchestrA certified by WonderWare, an industry software manufacturer. He has worked on numerous assignments in Nevada, California and Arizona, including SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) upgrade and/or replacement projects at the Central Plant, Big Bend Water Treatment Plant, and Laughlin Water Reclamation Facility for the Clark County Water Reclamation District. Spencer holds his B.S.E.E. from the University of Nevada, Reno...

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