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April 2006: Volume 48, Number 4

Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Middle East


Earnings forecast for recycling/reuse: The industrial market for water recycling and reuse equipment in Europe and the Middle East earned revenues of $279 million over a three-year period from 2003 to 2005. With anticipated annual growth of about seven per cent, this market has the potential to earn $531 million from 2012-2014, according to Frost & Sullivan, the global growth consultancy.

Italian drinking water ban due to arsenic levels: Varying arsenic levels in two wells and the Simbrivio Aqueduct led to a drinking water ban by Cave Mayor Massimo Umbertini of nearly three weeks. Regional and provincial agencies came to the citys assistance, distributing bottled water to residents. An official stated that the arsenic was naturally occurring due to the city of Caves volcanic soil.

Africa Cholera epidemic reported: In Blantyre, Malawi, the eastern African nations commercial hub, cholera has killed 24 people and infected thousands of others, Secretary of Health Wesley Sangala said. As reported by Reuters, the outbreak began late last year and comes on the heels of a drought and subsequent severe food shortages that have left nearly half of Malawis estimated 12 million people with little to eat. The crisis is particularly bad in the southern province.


Salinity relief granted: Macao Water Co. Ltd. said that it will grant salinity relief worth 10 million patacas (1.25 million U.S. dollars) to the people in Macao. In a statement quoted by the Macao Post Daily, the monopoly tap water supplier said the salinity level was expected to hike to 700 mg/L in the region by the beginning of March, while WHO defines the standard level for drinking water at 250 mg/L. Macao, which relies upon the Xijiang River for its water supply, has been experiencing a salinity crisis caused by the intake of seawater during the winter season.

Drinking water shortages spark protest march in New Delhi: New Delhis NDTV reported a drinking water demands protest by the residents of Sadiq Nagar, who marched to the Center for Public Works office. Many said they receive water for only two hours a day. Water shortages have affected thousands in the city, as the water treatment plant at Bhagirathi has choked filters, which officials of the Delhi Jal Board(DJB) attribute to low turbidity.

Membrana selected in Malaysia and Japan: Membranas Liqui-Cel® Membrane Contactor system for oxygen removal is being shipped to Malaysia. The 115 m3/hr (506 gpm) system utilizes Liqui-Cel 10 x 28 High Purity Membrane Contactors to provide a dissolved oxygen outlet of less than 100 ppb. The system will operate in combo mode using nitrogen and vacuum. The semiconductor plant will use the membrane contactors to manufacture Logic chips used in automobiles and industrial power applications. Oxygen in water used to manufacture semiconductor wafers negatively impacts production yields. Membrana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore Inc. The firms Liqui-Cel Membrane Contractor technology has been selected for gas control in a functional water system in Japan. The system will start up in first quarter 2006.

Beijing water conservation efforts: Bi Xiaogang, Deputy Director of the Municipal Water Resources Bureau of Beijing, reported that the aggregate water consumption in the city in 2005 was 3.45 billion cubic meters, 15 percent less than the 4.06 billion cubic feet consumed in 2000. Bi noted that the specific water use limits for the citys 10 major industries and agriculture were established last year and that water use quotas were established for government institutions, hotels, hospitals, colleges and office buildings. Reuters reported a new edict from the central government was issued on March 7, 2006, directing departments to cut their electricity and water consumption by 20 percent by 2010.

Government determined to supply clean drinking water: According to Online-International News Network, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that government is committed to providing safe drinking water to all and 6,036 water filtration plants would be installed under the Khushal Pakistan Program by December 2007. The Prime Minister said that water borne diseases are one of the major hazards for public health and providing safe drinking water to all by 2007 is among the top priorities of the government.


Water swindle alert: As reported in the Herald Sun, conmen posing as water experts are duping Melbourne householders into buying unnecessary and overpriced water filters. The door-to-door sellers use bogus test kits to claim that peoples water is unsuitable for drinking. Unsuspecting householders are then told a filter would solve the problem and are pressured to buy one on the spot, usually at an exorbitant price. More than 50 reports have been made in the past year.

City of Brisbane drilling under the streets for water: The Australian government shelved plans for a controversial desalination plant due to projected costs. The City of Brisbane announced an aquifer project will start this month in which the city will conduct exploratory underground drilling of about 40 production wells, seeking to determine whether the underground aquifer is extensive enough for sustainable use. According to The Australian, Southeast Queensland is seeking an additional 20 million liters a day for their supply network. Underground water discovered in this project will initially be used for irrigation only.

New water laws: The Australian Financial Review reported effective March 1, new laws made it mandatory that all new houses in Queensland be fitted with greenhouse efficient hot water systems, AAA-rated shower roses, dual-flush toilets, water pressure limiting devices and energy efficient lighting. The laws also approve the use of greywater throughout the state; and give councils the power to rule new houses be fitted with rainwater tanks.

Middle East

Worlds largest desalination plant now fully commissioned: The second phase of the worlds largest desalination plant is now successfully running. Due to successful start-up, the entire plant was fully commissioned and turned over to operations. The plant, located in Ashkelon, Israel, serves one of the most water-challenged areas of the world. The plant is designed to produce a total of 330,000 m3 per day of water.

UDC enters another international partnership: United Development Company (UDC) and Millenya Inc. of Ankara, Turkey have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby UDC will acquire 60 percent of Millenya equity from its founder owners, who will retain a 40 percent equity stake and will jointly manage the operations. By entering into this agreement, UDC and Millenya will jointly expand existing operations and production facilities to serve the rapidly expanding regional and global water treatment market. There are already several hundred Millenya Biocell" units operating in Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

Bottled water sales soar in nervous Egypt: Panicked people worldwide have been trying to ensure protection from bird flu, no more so than in Egypt, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. The advice went out last week spread via emails and word of mouth, dont drink the water. Farmers and rooftop poultry breeders, a Cairo fixture, were dumping sick or dead chickens into the River Nile, the source of drinking water for millions of Egyptians. Suddenly, taps were turned off and there was a rush to buy bottled water.

Israeli expertise noted: Israel is becoming a world leader in water management, according to David Wanetick, Managing Director of The Wal Street Transcript Due to its population and industrial growth, scarcity and threats of having its water supply disrupted by Syria and Lebanon, Israel has been forced to become resourceful in its management of water, he explained. Ashkelon, Israel is home to the worlds largest ope