USDA to fund U.S. water and energy projects
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the support for projects to improve rural water and wastewater services, promote the efficient use of energy resources and promote renewable energy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure projects through Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program (WEP). For example, to help fund the replacement of its wastewater treatment facility, the city of Crete, Nebraska, was selected for a $717,000 WEP loan. USDA in all is funding 37 water and wastewater projects and 25 renewable energy projects, totaling more than $114.6 million.
Researchers launch two-year study on the use of treated wastewater in agriculture
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California, Riverside, have launched a two-year study on the use of treated wastewater in agriculture. The researchers hope the project, titled “Enhanced Resilience of Local Agricultural Water Supplies through Reuse of Municipal and Agricultural Water: A Dynamic Economic Analysis,” will lead to cost-effective and viable regional water reuse policies. According to Kurt Schwabe, associate professor of environmental economics and policy and the project's principal investigator, the team will review existing research on using treated wastewater to improve the reliability of local water supplies, evaluate the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of new technologies for using treated wastewater on landscaping and agriculture, and study the impacts of treated wastewater on crop yields. The project will be initially funded with a seed grant of around $300,000 from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund partnership with Israel.
New infographic highlights water purification solutions to help developing nations
The University of Florida created an infographic, titled “Five Water Purification Designs for Third World Communities,” to help people visualize five water purification designs that can benefit developing nations. The infographic highlights statistics reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that 748 million people lack access to safe drinking water sources, an estimated 1.8 billion people use a fecally contaminated source for drinking water, 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation facilities and more than 840,000 people die from water-related diseases each year. The infographic also features five purification solutions including: UV, solar purification, ceramic filters, a water-purifying bicycle and personal filter straws. To view this infographic, visit watertechonline.com and search keyword infographic.
EPA issues health advisories for algal toxins
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has issued health advisory values that states and utilities can use to protect the public from elevated levels of algal toxins in drinking water. Algal blooms in bays, lakes and rivers can produce harmful toxins, and because utilities often use these water bodies as sources of drinking water, EPA determined algal toxin levels in tap water to protect human health based on science. EPA is also recommending how utilities can treat and monitor drinking water for algal toxins and notify the public if the drinking water exceeds EPA’s protective levels. EPA plans to issue the final documents containing the recommended monitoring and treatment approaches, health advisory values and all supporting technical information before summer, which is the prime season for algal blooms because of warmer temperatures.
GWI reveals 2015 Global Water Awards recipients
The Global Water Intelligence (GWI) announced the winners of the 2015 Global Water Awards. The winners were recognized by José Manuel Barroso, the former president of the European Commission and prime minister of Portugal, 2002-04, at a ceremony on April 27 at the Nasioutzik Museum during the Global Water Summit in Athens, Greece. Barroso delivered a speech on the global importance of water for the world, commenting, “We need leadership in the private and public sector to make water sustainable.” Subscribed readers of GWI magazine, Water Desalination Report and individual members of the International Desalination Association (IDA), as well as delegates who registered for the early bird discount for the event, were eligible to vote for the winners of the Global Water Awards.
City of San Jose sets 30 percent emergency water declaration
To comply with the State Water Resource Control Board mandate for water conservation throughout California, the San Jose City Council triggered a 30 percent emergency water declaration. San Jose’s action also called for additional water conservation to help address the effects of the past four years of severe drought. The new rules will last through March 31, 2016, and only apply to potable water — not graywater or recycled water. Restrictions for outdoor watering include: residents and businesses can water outdoors on only two designated days and only before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.; residents and businesses can water outdoors without these restrictions if using a handheld hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle or a drip irrigation system; public parks, playing fields, golf courses (greens only), schools and day care centers are allowed to water outdoors for maintenance if done in an efficient manner and before the allotted time frames; and nurseries are allowed to water plants and trees for sale. The emergency declaration also prohibits residents from washing their cars with potable water at home.
Water and environmental groups applaud reintroduction of stormwater infrastructure legislation
Senator Tom Udall and Representative Donna Edwards reintroduced the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2015, S. 896/H.R. 1775, to provide crucial support to innovative strategies, improving the ability to effectively manage sewage overflows and polluted runoff while relieving pressure on aging infrastructure. The legislation would provide implementation grants for community-based stormwater control projects and promote the use of innovative stormwater infrastructure. The legislation would also establish up to five “Centers of Excellence” throughout the U.S. to conduct research, develop recommendations and supply technical assistance and training for implementing management practices for stormwater control and management. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and American Rivers (AR) have supplied technical assistance to the sponsors of the bill and worked to appeal for broad congressional support.
New report offers guidance for global water and green growth policies
The Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) and the World Water Council, together with representatives from the seventh Forum National Committee, are urging political leaders to move forward with the approaches highlighted in the “Water and Green Growth” report to push their nations toward more sustainable, economic growth. The report, launched at the seventh World Water Forum and set within the context of the post-2015 development agenda, offers guidance on the development and implementation of water and green growth policies by combining alternatives based on community-, state- and market-centered approaches. Methods highlighted within the report, in light of the “water crises” as the top societal risks around the world in the next decade, aim to create opportunities and reduce risks, while keeping in mind economic, social and environmental issues.
Global agencies call for action to better manage depleting groundwater resources
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank, UNESCO, the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) called for action by the global community to manage the growing, urgent degradation and depletion of limited groundwater resources. The collaboration proposed a set of principles, “The 2030 Vision and Global Framework for Action,” governments can use for better groundwater management to ensure sustainable use of groundwater. The 2030 Vision and Global Framework for Action supplies the framework and guiding principles for coordinated action among organizations and governments. The set of principles, a product of four years of consultations with stakeholders from more than 100 counties, highlights legal and institutional frameworks, information and incentive structures, plans, and policies for effective groundwater management.
Infographic highlights global fresh water use
An infographic released by P.J. Dore & Co. Ltd. titled “The Problem with Water” highlights the use, concerns and availability of fresh water throughout the world. According to the infographic, the urban population grows by two people every second, and currently, around 783 million people do not have access to safe fresh water. The infographic continues that fresh water use by sector equates to 70 percent for irrigation, 22 percent for industry and eight percent for domestic use. Also featured in the infographic are statistics related to wastewater treatment, water conservation resources, health risks, climate factors, water footprint and more. By 2025, four billion “people may be facing water scarcity or flooding, which is half of the global population,” and by 2050, around “993 million city inhabitants may be living with less than 100 liters of fresh water to satisfy their basic needs.” To view this infographic, visit watertechonline.com and search keyword infographic.
NSF International and AWWA publish new standard for water treatment chemical products
NSF International and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) have published the first American National Standard Institute (ANSI), NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Water Treatment Chemical Products, for assessing water treatment chemical products’ sustainability. Water treatment chemical manufacturers and distributors, including relabelers and repackagers, now have a framework for measuring and reducing environmental impacts of their products, providing more sustainable purchase options to industrial and consumer users of treatment chemicals, as well as to municipal water treatment facilities. Organizations must implement environmental and social management policies as well as measure and document their water and energy use to obtain certification to this standard. Additionally, organizations must meet all prerequisite requirements pertaining to product design, corporate social responsibility, efficacy and manufacturing processes, as well as any optional criteria in these categories.
WateReuse welcomes two new board appointments
WateReuse announced the appointment of two new members to serve on the board of directors.Gilbert Trejo, PE, chief technical officer for El Paso Water Utilities, and Halla Razak, public utilities director for the city of San Diego, have started their service effective in May. Trejo and Razak will serve on the board of directors for both the WateReuse Research Foundation and the WateReuse Association. Trejo and Razak are the first new members appointed to the WateReuse boards since the adoption of a leadership merger plan in February in which directors will simultaneously serve on the WateReuse Research Foundation and the WateReuse Association boards to maximize strategic collaboration.
Watts Water Technologies Inc. announced that Munish Nanda joined the company as president of the Americas division. Prior to his new position with Watts Water, Nanda served as president of control technologies for ITT Corporation. He also held the position of vice president of integrated supply chain, including operations and supply chain functions, for ITT’s Fluid and Motion Control Group. Before his tenure with ITT Corporation, Nanda has held several operating leadership and general management positions with Thermo Fisher Scientific Corporation and Honeywell Inc.
MTN Products® announced the addition of three new staff members, Stacey Clemensen, Eva Guererro and Perry Rowley. Clemensen, who joined MTN Products as the corporate marketing manager, has more than 20 years of marketing experience ranging from office products manufacturing to high-tech electro optics for space and defense and will be responsible for all marketing, print and digital advertising, social media, and the Web. Guererro has more than eight years of experience in R&D, operations and manufacturing, and as the new assistant warehouse/inventory control manager for MTN Products, she will be responsible for supervising warehouse personnel, order fulfillment, inventory analysis and maintenance, freight schedules, product forecasts and product return processes. As MTN Products’ Northeast district sales manager, Rowley will be responsible for sales and technical training for the Northeastern regions of the U.S., and he has more than 21 years of experience in the bottled water and point-of-use (POU) industry.
Chicago Faucets announced Adam Molberger joined the company as product manager. Molberger will work to build on Chicago Faucets’ momentum in the commercial construction marketplace. Prior to his new position with Chicago Faucets, Molberger worked for Peerless AV, where he was actively involved in all product development activities including engineering, operations, continuous process improvement, production, sourcing and logistics. He has 15 years of product marketing experience and has also held positions at Pentasource and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. With the addition of Molberger to the marketing group, Pat Tanzillo will move into a new role as marketing segment manager, with an initial focus on the company’s lab segment, providing technical and product support.
BioSafe Systems announced Jeff Rich will take over the Texas territory for BioSafe Systems’ T&O sales team. Rich has worked for BioSafe Systems since 2012 in Florida and other states around the Gulf. After great success, BioSafe Systems has expanded Rich’s territory into Texas, where he will help establish a position in the commercial greenhouse and nursery industry. Rich will also be responsible for the commercial aquatics market for BioSafe Systems in Texas.