May 1, 2009

Field notes

USA: The global desalinated water supply will grow at a CAGR of 9.5% over the next decade, reaching 54 billion m3/year in 2020 or triple its 2008 level, saiys a new report from Lux Research, “Desalination’s Future Champions”. Desalination demand will foster a wave of new water treatment technologies aimed at challenging RO in the market’s three market segments — seawater desalination, inland brackish water, and water recycling. RO dominated the desalination equipment market with a 54% revenue share as of 2008.

VENEZUELA: Energy Recovery Inc. won an energy recovery technology contract from Acciona Agua for the Paraguaná 75,000 m3/day seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant, set for completion in early 2010. Located in the Paraguaná peninsula in the Falcón region in northwest Venezuela, the project at Petróleos de Venezuela SA’s (PDVSA) Paraguaná Refinery Complex is being designed and built jointly by Spanish water company Acciona Agua and PDVSA. The complex will utilize about 30% of production capacity, with the remainder supplying a population of 350,000. The SWRO plant, the largest in South America, will employ 64 of ERI’s Model PX–260 units, saving it an estimated 52 mW of energy a year.

USA: The Laredo, Texas, city council approved a $1.6 million proposal by Terrabon L.L.C. and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) for a 50,000–gpd Advanced Vapor Compression Desalination (AdVE) pilot plant to demonstrate commercial viability of this new technology that reduces capital and operating costs of water purification. AdVE was developed as a by–product of Terrabon’s MixAlco technology, an advanced bio–refining process that converts low–cost non–food biomass into biofuels. Both technologies were developed by Texas A&M University Prof. Mark Holtzapple.

CANADA: Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies unit John Meunier Inc. commissioned the first BIOSTYR® biological aerated filter (BAF) wastewater treatment systems at Ontario’s Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kingston. Involving 11 BIOSTYR cells, this will be one of the largest BAF applications in North America for secondary treatment. With a budget of $115 million, the Ravensview plant upgrade is the largest capital project ever for the city of Kingston.

USA: Potable UF specialist Seccua GmbH, of Steingarden, Germany, and Nitto Denko/Hydranautics agreed to jointly develop new markets and expand the USA–based global membrane solution providers’ offering with 4” UF modules from by Seccua. roject.

USA awards first Recovery Act water funds in economic stimulus plan

In a move to create thousands of jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure and protect human health and the environment, the USEPA awarded the first Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants under 2009’s American Reinvestment & Recovery Act.

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An unprecedented $6 billion dollars will be awarded to fund water and wastewater infrastructure projects, largely in the form of low interest loans, principal forgiveness and grants. Another $1.2 billion in Recovery Act funds will go to cleanup of brownfield sites, underground storage tank petroleum leaks, and hazardous waste at Superfund sites, and to cut diesel engine emissions.

For wastewater needs, Clean Water SRF grants were made to six states. In the single largest grant in its history, the USEPA awarded over $430 million to New York for wastewater infrastructure projects. Drinking Water SRF grants were awarded to 10 states. The largest as of April 14 went to Michigan, which will receive $236 million toward potable water infrastructure.

The second largest overall award to date went to Texas with $341.6 million combined for wastewater and drinking water needs. Four other states had their awards announced similarly as a combined figure, along with $7 million more for Native Americans via the Tribal Clean Water & Drinking Water Set–Aside programs.

With awards so far totaling over $1.81 billion for water and wastewater needs, the top recipients to date were: New York, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and Florida. In all, related awards for 18 states had been announced.

At least 20% of funds provided under the Recovery Act are to be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects. For more information, visit:

Mexico’s CONAGUA picks 3Com for national converged network

3Com Corp. secured a multi–year, multi–million dollar contract with the Mexico National Water Commission — the Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA) — for a new converged network solution to connect its headquarters and remote offices. The agreement includes entails 3Com’s voice–over–IP platform as well as its core–to–edge, wired and wireless network infrastructure solutions.

CONAGUA, which is responsible for managing and preserving Mexico’s domestic water supply, expects to generate a better return on its networking investment with the 3Com system, said Ravey Castillo, general manager for 3Com in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The agency has over 40 building–to–building links to connect regional offices to remote locations. It has a central building in Mexico City and over 320 offices throughout the country.

USAID teams with Coca–Cola, Rotary Club in Third World

The U.S. Agency for International Development teamed with the Coca–Cola Co. and the Rotary Club on clean water efforts in developing countries. With Coca–Cola, USAID formed a global Water & Development Alliance (WADA) to provide clean, potable water to Mozambique’s sixth largest urban region, Chimoio, with funding commitments from all partners at $1.8 million, of which $500,000 comes from USAID. Among projects are running water for about 25,000 people, 12 schools, a provincial hospital, clinic, and local industrial and commercial users. With the Rotary Club, it involves a public–private alliance on water, sanitation and hygiene projects in initially three countries — the Dominican Republic, Philippines and Ghana — with funding of at least $2 million per country at the outset. In other news, Coca–Cola committed US$30 million over six years to expand access to safe drinking water via its foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which will provide at least two million with clean water and sanitation by 2015. The foundation now has water projects in 19 African countries reaching over 300,000 people..

Making Waves

Among other recent water industry news items at, see:

  • CH2M Hill, World Business Council enhance Global Water Tool
  • India’s Watershed Organization Trust wins Kyoto World Water Grand Prize
  • USGS well sampling raises concerns on water quality for 15% of population
  • Berson UV system first to gain formal approval for wastewater reuse
  • List of water–quality trading programs released by World Resources Institute
  • Flowserve, Al–Rushaid Group open Mideast pump facility in Saudi Arabia
  • OECD unveils report on pricing, financing and managing water at World Water Forum
  • Spectra Watermakers delivers solar powered water treatment to Afghanistan
  • H2O Innovation wins CAN$5.1 million in contracts in USA, Canada
  • Frost & Sullivan: Hach, ABB, Agilent top high–end China environmental monitoring device market
  • Siemens to treat FGD scrubber wastewater at New Hampshire generating station
  • CDM’s work on Singapore Marina Barrier & Reservoir project cited in ACEC competition

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