FAO regional head warns of groundwater shortage for UAE

Ad Spijkers, the regional head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, has issued a warning that the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) groundwater supplies could run out by 2030 due to agricultural demand. A UAE study reported groundwater supplies around 51 percent of the country’s water. The study noted agriculture used approximately 34 percent of UAE’s water resources, with industrial and municipal sectors using an additional 32 percent. The study also revealed desalinated water provides around 37 percent of UAE’s water, with reclaimed water accounting for an additional 12 percent. Spijkers stated that feasibility studies were underway on the use of treated wastewater and Abu Dhabi “has plans to irrigate an additional 3,000 farms from this source.”

 

Kuwait-based wastewater treatment plant to become world’s largest facility of its kind

Following an agreement to push expansion, Kuwait’s Sulaibiya Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Plant will become the world’s largest facility of its kind using membrane technology. GE will provide the plant with AG LF low-fouling reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and ZeeWeed* 100 submerged hollow-fiber membranes. These GE membranes will enhance the facility’s production capacity from approximately 99.1 million to 158.5 million gallons per day (375,000 to 600,000 m3), which will make the treatment plant the largest of its kind in the world. Kharafi National will take on the expansion.

 

Report forecasts double-digit growth for global monitoring technologies

A new insight report, “Online Water and Wastewater Sensors and Analyzers,” from BlueTech® Research projects in the coming years that water quality issues and monitoring technologies in developing markets may drive double-digit global growth. Across the world, advances in technology such as miniature sensors and robotic fish, are “leading a rapid advance” in online smart monitoring of water quality in municipal and industrial systems. The Asia-Pacific region is predicted to be the fastest growing market. In recent years, the water analysis industry has seen significant growth due to swift rises in population and growing concerns over water contamination. A change in water quality can occur because of equipment failing in a water system. The BlueTech Research report discusses current and developing online water and wastewater monitoring technologies, the technologies’ drivers and barriers as well as a market profile.

 

Partnership brings clean water to Liberia

Existing Ebola treatment units in Liberia are being provided more than 5.8 million gallons (22 million liters) of safe water. The clean water is being provided by a partnership including the McWane Foundation, WaterHealth International, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation. Approximately 52 gallons of water a day are needed to assist in treating Ebola patients, and the lack of reliable wastewater and water infrastructure has contributed to the lack of clean water throughout the area. The effort to fight against Ebola is part of the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which aims to provide access to sanitation and clean water for two million people by the end of the year.

 

New Web platform evaluates India’s growing water risks

According to a World Resources Institute (WRI) blog post titled, “3 Maps Explain India’s Growing Water Risks,” India is one of the most water-challenged countries in the world, and groundwater levels are falling as India’s industries, farmers and city residents drain aquifers and wells. India’s available water is often polluted, and the national supply is forecast to fall 50 percent below demand by 2030. Coordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a group of companies, research organizations and industry associations, including WRI, created the India Water Tool 2.0 to help address these water challenges. The India Water Tool 2.0 is a new, comprehensive and publically available Web platform that evaluates India’s water risks. The tool helps government agencies, companies and other water users “identify their most pressing challenges and carefully target water-risk management efforts.”

 

USGS study reveals sediment storage near capacity for Conowingo Dam

A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study reported that the Conowingo Dam, located on the Susquehanna River, is at approximately 92 percent capacity for sediment storage. Sediment and nutrients have been building up behind the dam since its construction in 1929 and released periodically down river into the Chesapeake Bay, especially during high flow events. Previous research revealed that the water is depleted of oxygen needed to maintain healthy populations of oysters, fish and crabs due to excess levels of nutrients in the bay, and these nutrients, along with sediment, also cloud the water, disturbing the habitats of underwater plants that are critical for waterfowl and aquatic life. At full capacity for sediment storage, the Conowingo Reservoir will be about halfway filled with sediment with the remainder, around 49 billion gallons, flowing water. This amount could fill about 265,000 rail cars that could stretch over 4,000 miles when lined up.

 

BlueTech Research releases ‘BlueTech Water Almanac 2014-2015’

BlueTech Research announced the release of the “BlueTech Water Almanac 2014-2015.” The water technology almanac was created based on the notion of the “Farmers’ Almanac,” drawing from the idea of how it provides helpful information, predictions, tips and more to individuals who are curious about weather effects, seasons, crop yields, the best time to plant, harvests, etc. The “BlueTech Water Almanac 2014-2015,” identifies three crucial trends BlueTech Research predicts will impact the water industry over the next 12 months and offers “informed guesswork” and predictions, including: “New kids on the block — new entrants to monitor,” “Rising stars — BlueTruffle picks of companies to watch in the year ahead,” “Most likely to exit by acquisition in 2015” as well as “Hot-spots for investment and acquisition activity.”

 

South Africa’s president calls for action to address the country’s water challenges

The cost of nonrevenue water losses in South Africa has hit $594 million a year, resulting in the country’s president, Jacob Zuma, to call for action. In Zuma’s recent “State of the Nation” address, he urged South Africa to conserve water and addressed the need of support of private sectors and consumers to help tackle the significant causes of the nonrevenue water losses. According to the World Resource Institute, South Africa is a “water-stressed country” with less than 264,172 gallons (1,000 m3) of fresh water per person. Some of the main causes of the nonrevenue water losses are due to the lack of monitoring, maintenance and billing, and Zuma revealed that the 20-year National Infrastructure Development program launched in 2012 will be the “key driver of water sector plans in South Africa.” An integrated project in the infrastructure program is to address the predicted “backlog of adequate water to supply 1.4 million households and another 2.1 million to basic sanitation.”

 

WWT completes first water well in Arkansas under USDA grant

The Water Well Trust (WWT) announced it has completed the first of 19 water wells the nonprofit expects to rehabilitate or drill in Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas to serve approximately 145 individuals in the low-resource, high-need area. USDA awarded WWT with a $140,000 matching grant through its Household Water Well Systems Grant program in October 2014. The grant was awarded to WWT for a project to increase the availability of potable water to rural households in five Northwest Aransas counties as well as Sequoyah County in Oklahoma. Completed this past January for a household located in Chester, Arkansas, the first well for the USDA project was for a disabled homeowner with two children who had been pumping water from a pond for his family’s showers, laundry, toilets and dishes. The homeowner’s daughter contacted WWT after reading about a WWT project completed in the area in 2012.

 

Dow infographic addresses world hunger through advanced technology

An infographic released by Dow Water & Process Solutions illustrates how advanced ion exchange resin technology can help address world hunger. According to the infographic, the world will need 30 percent more water, 40 percent more energy and 50 percent more food by 2030. The infographic highlighted that demands on scarce resources, such as water, energy and raw materials, can be reduced by as much as 15 percent by applying advanced technology and expertise.

 

SFPUC completes new tunnel, creates ‘water lifeline’ for San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced a new, seismically-improved tunnel 3.5 miles long is now delivering water to 2.6 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area after more than four years of construction. The New Irvington Tunnel Project completes the last of three new tunnels creating a “water lifeline” that can withstand earthquakes on the Calaveras, San Andreas and Hayward faults. The project, located between the Sunol Valley and Fremont, California, is part of SFPUC’s $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). The New Irvington Tunnel, 8.5 feet in diameter, was constructed parallel to the existing Irvington Tunnel, which was completed in 1932.

 

PEOPLE

Hankscraft Inc. announced Bob Kappel has been appointed as the division manager of the H2O Products Group. Kappel will lead the product development, customer service, sales and marketing teams for Hankscraft’s line of water treatment products, which include systems for softening, iron, chlorine/chloramine and sulfur removal, descaling, microfiltration and reverse osmosis (RO). He has more than 20 years of experience in the sales, design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of commercial filtration and disinfection systems. Kappel has previously held positions with Siemens Water Technologies, ProMinent Fluid Controls and Engineered Treatment Systems, served as co-chair of the Wisconsin HFS 172 code revision committee, served as the executive board chairperson for the PPOA and was an AFO instructor trainer.

Icon Technology Systems, manufacturer of the eco-friendly eco3 filtration product line, announced Tony Marino has been appointed to director of technical services for the U.S. market. For more than 20 years, Marino has been an active member of the filtration and drinking water industry. He has extensive industry experience including residential and commercial point-of-use (POU) drinking water applications as well as light commercial and industrial water treatment applications, such as water softening, reverse osmosis (RO), various filtration applications and more. Marino has held regional positions for numerous industry manufacturers. He has achieved WQA certified water specialist CWS-1, IBWA certified plant operator and WQA certified installer.

Sloan Valve Company announced that Margie Rodino has been promoted from vice president of global human resources to chief talent officer. Rodino has a Bachelor of Science in personal and industrial relations from Northern Illinois University and is a certified compensation professional. Her expertise is in “aligning human capital initiatives with strategic goals across multiple industries.” Sloan, headquartered in Franklin Park, is a manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems and water-efficient solutions.

T&S Brass and Bronze Works has named Rajesh Chowdhury as regional sales manager for India and the subcontinent. In his new position with T&S Brass, Chowdhury will focus mainly on new business development. He has extensive experience in all phases of sales and marketing including profit and loss management, team training and development, business development and market analysis. Prior to his new role with T&S Brass, Chowdhury was the regional head of sales for Cambro Nilkamal Pvt. Ltd.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has named Mark Call as a supervising construction engineer for its Boston office. Call will provide construction management services for the South Essex Sewerage District, supervising construction work under Salem Harbor on two sewer pipelines. He has around 40 years of experience managing the engineering and construction of infrastructure improvement projects, and prior to his new position with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Call was a construction manager with a Massachusetts-based firm. Call also previously served as director of construction for Boston Water and Sewer Commission and director of public works for the city of Framingham. He is a member of the American Public Works Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Water Council announced Amy Jenson has joined the organization as the first director of finance and operations. Jenson will lead the development of the organization’s financial management strategy and oversee operations, including developing and implementing all procedures and policies both in finance and general operations. Prior to her new position with The Water Council, Jenson served as the managing director at Skylight Music Theatre. Jenson, CPA, has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and nonprofit management and received her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.