WaterBriefs: Dutch crown prince to open Aquaterra

Also in this report: AT&T wins contract with East Bay Municipal Utility District; Black & Veatch water business expands GIS offering; Study finds mercury prevalent in many western fish; GE unit makes first investment in infrastructure project; Boss Engineering chosen by Walled Lake, Mich.; Baker wins $45 million Ft. Worth design services contract from Army Corps of Engineers; Beef processor IBP resolves environmental lawsuit in Illinois; LuminUltra teams up with new French distributor...

In other news below:
-- AT&T announces new Ethernet contract with East Bay Municipal Utility District
-- Black & Veatch expands GIS offering within its water business
-- Study finds mercury prevalent in many western fish, impact on humans uncertain
-- GE unit makes first investment in infrastructure project using coal gasification technology
-- Boss Engineering chosen by Walled Lake, Mich., as engineers for the municipality
-- Beckhoff Automation promotes Lewis to support manager position
-- Baker wins $45 million Ft. Worth design services contract from Army Corps of Engineers
-- Beef processor IBP's environmental lawsuit in Illinois resolved
-- LuminUltra teams up with new French distributor

Dutch crown prince to open Aquaterra -- World forum focuses on delta and coastal development Feb. 7-9 -- AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Jan. 23, 2007 -- His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange will open Aquaterra, the world forum on delta and coastal development on Feb. 7. Following the opening ceremony, Prince Willem-Alexander will pay a visit to the adjoining trade show. He has recently been appointed chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

Aquaterra focuses on risk management and new ways to develop delta and coastal areas from every angle: From economic and financial aspects to safety and planning issues. Climate change, managerial complexities and economic aspects will be discussed within every theme.

Holland has a wealth of experience and a fine reputation for the way it protects its land against water. Taking the recent climate developments into account, Amsterdam RAI, the organisers of Aquaterra, has created a programme intended to bring practical solutions a step closer. "On an international level there is a rising concern that something needs to be done now," says Gaele Rodenhuis, chairman of the Advisory Committee that compiled the conference programme. "The costs will be huge in 50 years time if we fail."

The Dutch governmental delegation consists of Ineke Bakker (Director General Space of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)), Mark Dierikx (Director General for Water Affairs of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management) and Pieter van Geel (State Secretary of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)).

In addition to a strong Dutch representation in terms of both government and business, other countries are also very well represented. Case studies will be presented on cities in coastal areas such as Shanghai (China), New Orleans (USA), Singapore and the Californian delta (USA). Moreover, there will be presentations on projects in complex policy environments such as Hamburg (Germany) and London (UK).

Prince Willem-Alexander often visits companies and organizations active in the water sector in the Netherlands and elsewhere to keep himself informed of developments in the field.

Aquaterra (www.aquaterraforum.com) is an international conference and exhibition on development in coastal and delta regions. It focuses on managing risks and creating opportunities to meet the challenges of deltaic and coastal development at all levels, from economic and financial to safety and planning issues. Exhibitors will include consulting engineers, dredging and other contractors, equipment and materials suppliers, and companies from the service sector including finance and insurance. More details about the conference program can be found at www.aquaterra-forum.com.

Aquaterra 2007 is intended for advisors, consultants, contractors, project developers, civil and other engineers, water companies, research institutes, financial and insurance institutions, governments (international, national, regional and municipal), NGOs and port authorities. The event will bring together government specialists, advisors, consultants, contractors, knowledge institutions and companies from all over the world

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Among other recent headlines:

AT&T announces new Ethernet contract with East Bay Municipal Utility District -- San Francisco Bay area water and sewage services provider increases capabilities through enhanced network -- SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23, 2007 -- AT&T Inc. today announced a new network and data services contract with East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), a water and wastewater service provider that serves more than 1.3 million residents and businesses in Alameda and Contra Costa counties on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. Under the terms of the five-year contract, AT&T will provide EBMUD with OPT-E-MAN® switched Ethernet service to connect EBMUD's local access networks (LANs) within the same metropolitan area, giving EBMUD the ability to communicate across its four metro locations. AT&T will also deliver Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access (EDIA), a pure Ethernet solution for always-available Internet access. By consolidating EBMUD's voice and data services from various locations and placing them on one converged network, EBMUD will experience increased bandwidth, which will allow for more efficient communication and connectivity. The flexibility of these services will allow EBMUD to easily adopt and manage new applications and technologies in the future. EBMUD will also take advantage of a backup data center supported by AT&T's IP-enabled Ethernet Private Line Service (EPLS) backbone. The backup data center will help ensure improved network security for EBMUD's headquarters and remote locations...

Black & Veatch expands geographical information systems offering within its water business -- Paul Ginther named as leader of GIS Department -- KANSAS CITY, MO, Jan. 23, 2007 -- With the increasing demand for geographically related information and services, Black & Veatch, a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company, is expanding its geographic information systems (GIS) offering within its global water business. The geospatial industry has been recognized as having one of the greatest potentials for impact on the economy, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. More and more, GIS is having an impact on how the world does business. To lead Black & Veatch's proactive approach in building on the technology and its capability to meet the growing demand, the company has promoted Paul Ginther, a 25-year industry veteran hired in May 2006 as the leader for the GIS Implementation Team, which previously operated within the Infrastructure Planning Department, to head of the GIS Department within its water business. In his new role, Ginther will work to expand the new GIS Department, which uses computer hardware, software and geographic data to capture, manage, analyze and display many forms of geographically referenced information for water-related planning and strategy...

Study finds mercury prevalent in many western fish, impact on humans uncertain -- CORVALLIS, OR, Jan. 23, 2007 -- A new survey by researchers at Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of more than 600 rivers and streams in the western United States found widespread mercury concentrations in fish. Though few of the more than 2,700 fish analyzed in the study contained alarmingly high levels of mercury, the prevalence of the element throughout 12 western states caught the researchers somewhat by surprise. The researchers found that mercury levels were much higher in the larger fish-eating species, including bass, walleye, northern pike and pikeminnow. These piscivores are not as widespread throughout western river systems as salmonids, such as rainbow and cutthroat trout, which had lower levels of mercury. Results of the study were published earlier this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology...

GE unit makes first investment in infrastructure project using coal gasification technology -- LOUISVILLE, KY, & STAMFORD, CT, Jan. 23, 2007 -- GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric, announced today that it has made its first investment in a plant that will generate power and produce substitute natural gas using coal gasification technology. It is acquiring a 20 percent equity interest in The ERORA Group LLC, which is developing Kentucky's 630 net megawatt Cash Creek Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle facility, one of the most advanced and largest gasification projects under development in the United States. Financial details of the transaction with Louisville-based ERORA weren't disclosed. Gasification converts coal into a gas that is cleaned and then can be used to generate power or modified further to produce natural gas, hydrogen, or other basic chemicals. Relative to conventional coal-based power generation technologies, the project would produce fewer air emissions, and would use less water to provide power for 400,000 homes...

Boss Engineering chosen by Walled Lake, Mich., as engineers of record for municipality -- WALLED LAKE, MI, Jan. 23, 2007 -- Boss Engineering has been chosen by the City of Walled Lake to serve as the city's consulting engineer, it was announced today. Boss Engineering is a full-service engineering firm with special expertise in civil engineering, land surveying, water and waste water treatment plants and land development expertise. The firm was chosen to represent Walled Lake after exhaustive interviews and a selection process that resulted in Boss Engineering winning the contract over 11 other firms that were considered in the selection process...

Beckhoff Automation promotes Mark Lewis to support manager position -- MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 23, 2007 -- Beckhoff Automation is pleased to announce that Mark Lewis has been promoted to support manager. He will be responsible for managing Beckhoff's technical support, field service and repairs departments at the company's Burnsville, Minn. headquarters. Lewis, a veteran of over five years at Beckhoff, previously worked for the company as an applications and field service engineer in the Pittsburgh area. There, he created several new field service initiatives to better serve machine builders and end-users of Beckhoff-equipped machinery...

Baker wins $45 million Ft. Worth design services contract from Army Corps of Engineers -- PHOENIX, Jan. 22, 2007 -- Michael Baker Jr. Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corp., announced today it has been awarded a five-year, $45 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ft. Worth District, Engineering and Construction Support Office (ECSO), to provide architectural and engineering design services nationwide, in support of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to secure U.S. borders. Under the terms of the IDIQ contract, Baker will provide a wide range of services including planning, architectural/engineering design, construction management and cost estimating, topographic and boundary surveys, site civil studies, value engineering, environmental and abatement services, geotechnical investigation and testing, and more...

IBP environmental lawsuit in Illinois resolved -- Company to invest in additional technology, processes at Joslin Plant to resolve odor, wastewater issues -- JOSLIN, IL, Jan. 10, 2007 -- A nine-year-old lawsuit filed by the state of Illinois against IBP Inc. has been resolved. The two sides finalized a settlement today after reaching an agreement in principle in July 2006 to end the case, which involved the company's Joslin beef complex. As part of the final agreement, IBP -- which was acquired by Tyson Foods Inc. in 2001 -- will fund six environmentally beneficial projects with a combined value of $995,000, including three projects in the Quad Cities. The company will also install additional odor-reducing technology at the plant and pay a $30,000 civil penalty...

LuminUltra teams up with new French distributor -- FREDERICTON, NB, Canada, Jan. 5, 2007 -- LuminUltra Technologies Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has acquired a new European distributor. AQUA-tools, a company based in Paris, France, has acquired the rights to distribute its products in the European market as well as Africa and the Middle East as of December 2006. AQUA-tools CEO Marc Raymond, brings many years of experience in the microbiological monitoring and control field to the marketing, sales, and support of LuminUltra's Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) based test kits. AQUA-tools will service all applications in these regions, including cooling water, industrial process water, sanitary wastewater, and biological wastewater treatment. The kits represent a major advancement in the ability to quickly and accurately measure total microbiological activity in any water or wastewater sample in minutes instead of days...

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