January WaterWorks News: California supply, Pennsylvania American acquisitions, Australian water outlook and more

Work begins on California water supply pipeline
California American Water has begun work on a pipeline in Del Rey Oaks that will help to address water supply issues on the Monterey Peninsula, where residents face threats of severe rationing from the state, which has placed strict limits on the community’s primary water supply, the Carmel River.

The pipeline is one component of an ambitious Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project, which captures excess winter flows from the Carmel River and delivers them to the groundwater basin in Seaside, where the additional water will be available for withdrawal during the dry, summer months, while also helping to recharge the basin.

California American Water is charged by the state to come up with additional water supply of 11,285 acre feet per year to replace current pumping from the Carmel River and the Seaside Basin. A project to accomplish this, which includes a desalination facility, is currently under review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The addition of the new half-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline will allow the full, permitted potential of excess Carmel River water to be captured and injected into the basin in the wintertime. Once the new pipeline is complete, it is estimated an average of 900 acre-feet per year of ASR water will be stored in the basin.

Pennsylvania American Water acquires three municipal water systems
Pennsylvania American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, has acquired three water systems from municipal authorities in north central and western Pennsylvania. The combined purchase price of the newly acquired systems, which serve a total of nearly 600 people in Clearfield, Centre and Washington counties, is approximately $935,000.

In Clearfield County, Pennsylvania American Water purchased the assets of the Wallaceton Municipal Authority, which is adjacent to the company’s Philipsburg water system. According to Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape, the acquisition provides a long-term solution for the Wallaceton community, which faced a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) consent order over water quality concerns with the existing source of supply.

Over the next few years, the Wallaceton system also will see a number of capital improvements to enhance the community’s water service and fire protection. Pennsylvania American Water plans to construct a 135,000-gallon water tank to expand storage capacity, install new fire hydrants, and replace more than 19,000 feet of aging cast iron and transite water main with new ductile iron pipe. Under terms of the purchase agreement approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the company will also install new water meters for all of the system’s customers.

In Centre County, the company acquired the water system operated by the Boggs Township Municipal Authority, serving primarily commercial and industrial customers along the Interstate 80 corridor. Pennsylvania American Water also purchased the assets of the Amwell Township Water Authority in Washington County, where the company already serves approximately 150,000 people.

Tyco Water helps improve Australia’s long-term water supply
Tyco Water, a division of Tyco Flow Control, has been selected to support the construction of Australia’s largest desalination project, one of the largest public-private partnerships for infrastructure in the world. The desalination plant to be constructed in the state of Victoria is critical to meeting the needs of the drought-stricken areas of southern and eastern Australia and has the capability to turn sea water into close to 40 billion gallons of drinking water per year for some 3.5 million people in Melbourne and surrounding areas. As part of the $120 million contract, Tyco Flow Control will supply the project with 6,200 mild steel pipes, stretching across 53 miles and connecting the desalination plant to the Melbourne water supply.

The Dow Live Earth Run For Water launches in April
Recently, Dow, along with Live Earth and Global Water Challenge, announced plans to implement the largest worldwide water initiative on record to help combat the global water crisis. The Dow Live Earth Run for Water – to take place April 18, 2010 – will consist of a series of 6 km run/walks (the average distance many women and children walk every day to secure water) taking place over the course of 24 hours in countries around the world, featuring concerts and water education activities aimed at igniting a tipping point to help solve the water crisis. Jessica Biel, Alexandra Cousteau, Pete Wentz, Angelique Kidjo and Jenny Fletcher will lend their names and their time in support of this important cause.

Everybody counts in helping to solve the water crisis. The Dow Live Earth Run for Water is a global movement focused on the actions individuals can take to effectively address the issue. People are encouraged to START solving the problem today, RUN in a Dow Live Earth Run for Water run/walk in their community or organize their own run/walk through the Friends of Live Earth program, SAVE water in their home and local community through conservation efforts, GIVE money to support clean, safe water projects and SPEAK UP by signing the Live Earth petition to add water as a basic human right to the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.

To register or to see a full list of Dow Live Earth Run for Water cities, visit liveearth.org/run. All participants will receive a free online ActiveTrainer plan to help them prepare for the event. Ten percent of all registration fees go directly to the NGO selected for their country.

Through a cross-platform global fundraising effort, all donations raised by the Dow Live Earth Run for Water will be disseminated to fund sustainable and scalable water programs.

Innovative desalination technology project launched
American Water Works Company Inc., the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced recently that it is working in cooperation with Netherlands entities Vitens, RWB Waterservices, University of Twente, and WE Consult to launch a project on innovation in desalination technology. The “Clean Operator” project is co-funded by subsidiary SenterNovem and aims to reduce the costs, environmental impact and carbon footprint of desalination.

In the Clean Operator project, the partners will develop new technologies for seawater desalination and the treatment of surface water and wastewater using Reverse Osmosis membranes.

“Many desalination plants suffer from membrane fouling, and in some cases the membranes need frequent chemical cleaning, which increases operational costs and the emission of waste chemicals and carbon dioxide to the environment,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship. “The goal of the Clean Operator project is to reduce operational costs through a sustainable operation resulting in cleaner membranes.”

Stimulus funds give green light to New York State clean water projects
New York State has been awarded $1.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the state’s local water quality.

The federal stimulus funding will help communities develop and implement an array of projects, ranging from collecting water quality data to improving stormwater management to analyzing opportunities for installing “green” infrastructure. The 11 awards were selected through a competitive process.

Texas, Oklahoma water war lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit which aimed to send Oklahoma water to Texas.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton in the Western District of Oklahoma has granted a motion by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Tarrant Regional Water District.

The Texas water district claimed Oklahoma’s water law was unconstitutional. It filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to allow it access to waters within Oklahoma’s borders.

“The judge said our statute does not violate the commerce or supremacy clauses of the U.S. Constitution regarding waters subject to the Red River Compact,” Edmondson said. “The judge agreed with our argument that our statute is constitutionally sound.”

The Texas water district could appeal the ruling.

Aquatech awarded thermal desalination, industrial water reuse projects in Egypt
Aquatech has been awarded a contract to design and supply a Multiple Effect Distillation (MED) seawater desalination system for the Abu Qir Thermal Power Plant in Egypt. The client, West Delta Electricity Production Company, and consultant, PGESCo, specified MED technology for uninterrupted water supply to boilers after carefully studying all available desalination technology options.

The Desalination Facility at Abu Qir comprises of two MED with Thermal Vapor Compression (MED-TVC) units, each with a capacity of 5,000 m3/day (net) and will supply 10,000 m3 of fresh water a day to the power station’s boilers and other users. Aquatech’s MED technology has been developed and improved over decades of in-house research and onsite experience worldwide and will provide an environmentally friendly solution keeping in mind a reduced carbon footprint.

Aquatech’s scope includes design, equipment supply, testing, and commissioning of two MED units complete with accessories to produce distilled water within a challenging schedule as demanded by the project. The plant will be located near Alexandria, will use seawater from the Mediterranean Sea to produce pure water with less than 5 mg/l total dissolved solids, and will use plant steam to provide energy to operate the desalination units.

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