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Desalination comes to the capital

Mainland UK’s first major desalination plant was opened on 7 June to provide London with a supply to use in the event of a drought.

How to attract investment

The UK water and wastewater industry is struggling to attract private investors because of concerns over security of supply and the need for increasingly efficient wastewater treatment. Phil Bolton of Watson-Marlow reports.

Desalination - a necessary evil?

The government's approval of a £200M desalination plant in east London highlights its failure to secure the sustainable use of resources, writes CIWEM's executive director Nick Reeves

Wave Hub looms off the Cornish coast

A renewable energy project is about to be built off the coast of Cornwall. Wave Hub could generate power for 7,500 homes, and save thousands of tonnes of CO2

Affordable desalination deemed success

The Affordable Desalination Demonstration Project was launched two years ago, and set out to demonstrate that seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination could produce a cubic metre of product water for an energy cost of 1.7kWh. It also sought to establish the relationships between RO reject rate, membrane salt rejection, permeate quality, boron levels, feed pressure and energy consumption. Thomas F Seacord of Carollo Engineers, Steven D Coker of FilmTec Corporation and John MacHarg of the Affordable Desalination Collaboration demonstrated a very successful outcome in a paper presented to the American Membrane Technology Association Conference in August. The following article is adapted from the paper presented at Anaheim.

Australia ramps up desalination deployment

The Water Corporation of Western Australia (WCWA) is on schedule to commission the southern hemisphere's largest desalination plant, in Perth, early next year. Gary Crisp of WCWA reports on how the plant has addressed the challenges of environmental sustainability and technological feasibility and heralds increased uptake of reverse osmosis technology in Australia.

A positive impact

UK interest in desalination is on the rise. Brian Hubbard of Cat Pumps discusses the benefits that small positive-displacement pumps can bring to the process

Effluent: Waste or resource?

Changes in rainfall and increasing demand mean that water has now become too valuable a resource to be used only once. Here Martin Hind of Biwater Treatment looks at some alternatives

Water - a conveyor of disease or health benefits?

Desalination is considered by some as the answer to Britain's water shortage. However, what implications could low mineral content water have on the public's health. Dr Ian Pallett reports.

Estuary reservoir will boost Singapore supplies

A 300m long tidal barrier is under construction in the estuary of Singapore's main river. When completed, the Marina Barrage will create a unique freshwater reservoir in downtown Singapore, as Yap Kheng Guan of PUB explains.

First dedicated seawater pre-treatment membrane

Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) is fast becoming the most popular technology for producing potable water from seawater. However, to date, SWRO plants have not always met expectations for factors such as capacity, recovery and downtime. Frans Knops, product manager for Norit's Dutch subsidiary X-Flow, explains how the development of a new dedicated ultrafiltration (UF) membrane for seawater has achieved the lowest total costs of ownership (TCO) on the market.

Design deviations to blame at Tampa

The operational difficulties encountered with the pretreatment system for the Tampa Bay Desalination Plant, following its completion in January 2003, threw doubt into the minds of many who were about to embark on seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO). However, as since shown by SWRO successes elsewhere, Tampa's pretreatment was a unique case. Brett Boyd and Dominic Janssen of Parkson Corporation explain why.

Building the dream

Construction of the world's first 'eco-city' is to commence later this year in Shanghai. But it is founded on immense complexity, and faces great challenges. Elius Levin reports from China

Membrane pre-treatment for RO

Reverse osmosis (RO) is used in a variety of applications, ranging from use in effluent treatment either to concentrate the dissolved material to aid its recovery (or to recover water), to producing both process and drinking water from seawater or brackish water (desalination).

Singapore SingSpring

The new desalination plant in Singapore is a first in many ways. Frank Rogalla and Black & Veatch colleagues William Young and Don Ratnayaka discuss the plant

The saline solution

Anthony Bennett, Technical Director at Clarity, reports on developments in UK desalination, the driving forces behind it, and its growing future

Going underground

Rob Sage, water resources manager at the Veolia Water Partnership, assesses the impacts on public supply of declining groundwater quality

The RO unit in the new iron ore docks in Dalian, China.

Desalination solution for freight harbour

A substantial increase in iron ore imports for the rapidly expanding Chinese steel industry was putting pressure on water resources at Dalian freight harbour. Project manager, Bernhard Baumgärtner, and UK sales manager, Andrew Armytage, of German manufacturer ProMinent report on a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system that provides potable water and has reduced dependence on the public supply.

The Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant in Zhejiang Province will draw seawater from the East China Sea.

Power to seawater RO in China

The growth of industry and rising cost of water in China has led one energy company to opt for desalination for boiler feed water and drinking water at its power plant in the coastal province of Zhejiang. Technical specialist Angela Amalfitano and Kenneth Lam, managing director for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, at Canadian membrane manufacturer Zenon Environmental, explain the plan.

TETRA DeepBed(tm) tertiary filtration system.

Tertiary treatment of wastewater for reuse in China

Wastewater reuse is an important and economically efficient way to save water in water deprived regions of northern China. Jeffrey J Chen, Pacific Rim sales manager at Severn Trent Services, reports on a project that involves tertiary treatment of wastewater for reuse.

Table 1: Distribution of desalination plants in Mexico 2004. Dest: CAN

Tourism brings boom in desalination for Mexico

An increase in demand for potable water from international hotel chains and industry has brought about growth in Mexico's desalination market. Gordon Fellar reports on government initiatives that that are creating the opportunity for large-scale private investment.

The price of success

The south-east is a popular place to live and work, but with popularity come problems, not least with regard to water availability. Louise Every of the Institute for Public Policy Research assesses the issues

South East likely to escape hosepipe ban

Britain's largest water company says talk of a hosepipe ban is 'highly unlikely' in its region.

The Cleggs

Deputy PM's wife to join board of UK's first desalination plant operators

The firm behind the UK's first desalination plant - which opened earlier this month on the River Thames - are close to adding the wife of the deputy prime minister to its board.

Firm fined £150,000 after workers death

A company has been fined after a young worker died when a high pressure valve he was testing blasted into his chest killing him instantly.

UK's first desalination plant opens on Thames

The Duke of Edinburgh was on hand to unveil the plaque at the official opening of the UK's first desalination plant this week.

The Thames will provide water for one million Londoners

Britain's first desalination plant opens

Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works, the UK's first-ever desalination plant, officially opened today (June 2). The facility, sited at Beckton, East London, will provide "seriously water-stressed" London with a back-up supply to use in the event of a drought.

Israel opens world's largest reverse-osmosis desalination plant

Israel's has unveiled what it claims is the world's largest reverse-osmosis desalination plant.

Perth to get membrane system

Siemens is providing a 360Mld pressurised membrane filtration system as pre-treatment for Southern Seawater's desalination plant in Perth, Australia.

About 700 plants were commissioned during the year

Rapid global growth for desalination

The global desalination market is growing at a record rate, according to the latest GWI/IDA Worldwide Desalting Plant Inventory. A surge in demand for seawater desalination has led to the growth.

An air capture design Credit Chris Bolin and the Discovery Channel

Geoengineering 'dangerous and unproven'

Boats pumping out clouds and thousands of mirrors in space are among geoengineering ideas outlined by the Royal Society.

Australia prepares for future with less water

Almost one and half million dollars will be poured into the Australian outback to prepare it for a future with less water.

Spain reigns in the desalination market

DEMAND FOR fresh water is increasing around the world, especially in regions with rapidly growing populations and badly affected by long, drought seasons, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

Water shortage not just a rural problem for Australia

Think of Australian drought and the images that springs to mind are of the parched outback or arid sheep station.

Report urges greater water resilience

A report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has urged the government to create a more robust infrastructure for water, in the face of global warning.

Four-layer filter delivers savings

Scottish firm Filter Clear has shrugged off the recession with its Spruce Filter product, increasing staff threefold and keeping its turnover in the pink of health. Natasha Wiseman reveals how four is the company's lucky number

Lessons from the future

All waste is recycled. Cars are banned, with rapid-transit pods in their place. Wind towers, geothermal technology, and virtually every surface, collect energy. It sounds like science fiction but, writes Erik Jaques, this is the world's first zero-carbon city - and it's being built now

Technology revolution that can take on climate change impact

David Garman, president of the International Water Association and executive director of the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre in Australia, looks at trends and future directions in water technology

Mayor drops legal battle over desalination plant

London's new mayor has withdrawn a legal challenge launched by his predecessor over a desalination plant.

Desalination eyed as US water crisis solution

Ever-more-frequent water shortages and a growing population are forcing the USA to look long and hard at how it will provide fresh water for the public and industry.

Water experts call for efficiency and recycling

The world is facing a food crisis because it is running out of water to support food production, according to an environmental consultant and author.

A computer-generated-image shows how Masdar City may look by 2015

'World's greenest city' plans revealed

Plans have been unveiled for a development in Abu Dhabi that is set to be the world's greenest city.

Mobile desal plant could help fight drought

A team of German scientists has come up with a revolutionary design for a mobile water treatment plant which could bring hope to drought-affected areas of the world.

Oxfordshire was one of the worst hit areas in the UK summer floods

Water & Wastewater - Review of the Year 2007

If the year for the world of water had to be summed up in one word, it would have to be floods.

The key feature of any Earthship is that they are self-sufficient not relying on mains water or energy from big companies

Brighton 'Earthship' crowdsources for new energy systems

An entirely self-sufficient, off-the-grid building designed to educate students and the public about low-carbon issues has turned to crowdfunding to upgrade its own energy and water systems.

The plant removes the salt from the water and turns it into usable products

America's largest solar desalination project seeks $10m crowdfunding

A California company is trying to crowdfund $10m to part-fund the building of the US' largest solar desalination project.

California's four-year drought has seen water levels reach historic lows

Golden State: How California is surviving its worst drought in history

California remains in the claws of the longest drought in the state's history, placing unprecedented strain on the its water supplies. But could the scramble to save water actually help the state in the long run?

London Mayor to appeal against desal decision

London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has announced he plans to launch a High Court appeal against the Government's decision to give plans for a desalination plant on the banks of the Thames the go ahead.

Green light for Thames desalination plant

The Government has given the go ahead to plans which will see a huge desalination plant built on the banks of the Thames - but it will only be allowed to operate under certain conditions.

Desalination plant sends the wrong signal - Livingstone

Controversy over Government-approved plans for a Thames Water desalination plant flared this week as London Mayor Ken Livingstone continues to declare his opposition to the initiative despite the operator's commitment to powering the facility with renewable energy.

Cold storage could improve carbon capture

Storing captured carbon under higher pressures in cooler conditions could be more efficient than conventional methods of sequestration, according to researchers.

Anglo American chairman Sir John Parker said that collaboration was vital to the success of the firms sustainability goals

Collaboration drives success for Anglo American

One of the world's largest mining companies has released its 2014 sustainability report, revealing large drops in energy use, water consumption and emissions.

Water is essential for energy production, but regional water concerns are creating significant financial risks

Water risk factor now 'closing in' on global coal industry

Businesses need to urgently address unmanaged water risks as new research highlights that more than half of the world's largest coal-producing and consuming countries are now facing high levels of water stress.

Algeria commissions huge desal plant

With the need for access to clean water a growing concern for North Africa, Algeria is eyeing up the potential of desalination and has hired in a Californian company to help build a cutting edge plant that will pump out 200,000m3 of fresh water every day.

Fresh Water From the Ocean Waves

Desalination and energy efficiency often make uncomfortable bedfellows but in the waters of Western Australia, researchers are working on a device which produces fresh water and electricity at the same time. Mike Proffitt, CEO of developers Renewable Energy Holdings, and technical director Alan Burns told edie about their innovative device.

Desalination for London - techno-fix or necessity?

Water shortages in 'rainy' London may sound like a joke to many foreigners, but as the South-East England drought continues the capital's water supplier is finding it increasingly difficult to match shrinking supplies and growing demand. A desalination plant could reverse the trend - but at what cost? Phil Burston of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds considers the balance, and outlines the alternatives.

Cutting desalination's energy habit

Droughts cost the United States billions of dollars each year. Desalination could bring relief - but energy-guzzling technologies like reverse osmosis are plagued by financial and environmental drawbacks. Here Joseph Ellsworth, CTO of, proposes an alternative.

Special Report - Desalination

As drought and climate change put pressure on water resources around the world, desalination is becoming increasingly popular as a solution to water woes in coastal areas. The Middle East has remained the world's desalination hub since Kuwait built the first ever large-scale desalination plant in the 1960s, but the technology is spreading fast. From sweltering Australia to 'rainy' England, governments and water companies are looking to desalination plants to increase supply, while entrepreneurs develop and commercialise new technologies.

Why water issues are now commercially important

Water is essential for life, but many businesses still fail to recognise the commercial importance of this vital resource. Darran Messem explains why businesses must take note.

Why water must be on par with energy and carbon issues

The energy intensity of water is rising, which makes understanding the synergies between the two a priority for business and governments. But is enough being done? Leigh Stringer investigates

For Sale: Water Company. Two careful owners, 60,000 miles of pipes with patchy service history. £7bn ono.

Water company for sale - with £7bn price tag

At least three bidders have put in offers in the region of £7bn to buy Britain's biggest water company from its current owner, utilities multinational RWE.

Managing water and energy separately no longer viable, finds report

Managing water and carbon footprints in isolation poses a significant danger, as increasing demand for water places pressure on energy usage, new research suggests.

Desalination uses filtering (reverse osmosis) or distillation techniques

London Mayor slams desalination plans

Ken Livingstone dismissed plans to desalinate water from the Thames estuary as an energy-guzzling solution to London's water shortages that would contribute to climate change.

EXCLUSIVE: Governments must 'localise water systems' to secure supply

Local governments and water utilities should reuse and recycle water to the greatest extent possible before transporting it from one area to another, says Autodesk.

Escondida mining project in Chile: a new $3bn desalination plant will minimise Escondida's reliance on the region's aquifers

Mining giants invest $3bn to secure water supply in Chile

Major mining companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have agreed to invest $3bn (£1.95bn) in a desalination plant at their joint venture project, Escondida, in Chile.

Achieving sustainability through financial rigour

Committing to a sustainability programme requires ambition, a clear understanding of how targets will be achieved and, above all, backing from management, employees and partners. But how integral is it to apply financial disciplines to a business's sustainability plan? Leigh Stringer finds out

Interserve to cut water usage by 20% by 2016

Interserve has announced that it aims to reduce its water consumption by 20% in three years following the release of its 2020 sustainability programme, which looks at the stewardship of energy and natural resources.

(l-r) Dr. Corrado Sommariva and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber

Masdar launches pioneering desalination technology

A pilot program to test and develop energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies, which can be powered by renewable energy sources, has launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Going underground

Rob Sage, water resources manager at the Veolia Water Partnership, assesses the impacts on public supply of declining groundwater quality

South Korea unveils seawater desalination R&D project

Water professionals must radically change their attitudes to water sourcing if global water scarcity is to be tackled, according to the International Water Association (IWA).

British Water signs 'landmark' water agreement with Israel

Water industry trade association British Water and Israeli research and development (R&D) agency MATIMOP have signed a "landmark" water agreement.

Spain's water resources seriously below directive standards

Spain's water resources are so heavily polluted that less than a fifth would meet the standards of the Water Framework Directive, a report has found.

Modern Water announces strong growth in China

Water technology and desalination provider Modern Water (MW) has revealed strong market growth in China, a £0.5m contract to build the first of its kind commercial desalination plant and the impact of latest acquisition in its interim results.

Modern Water's Al Khaluf plant

First commercial forward osmosis desalination plant contract awarded

UK-based company, Modern Water plc, has been awarded a contract to build and operate the world's first fully commercial forward osmosis plant.

Nano Knows Best

The cross-sector growth of nanotechnologies poses particular opportunities - and challenges - for the water industry across the globe. David Spurr of Water Oracle, explains how the UK shape the new vision

'Human error' blamed for sewage in water supply report

Reports of a desalination plant pulling in huge amounts of sewage are down to human error, water monitors said today (November 8).

edie has brought together the best water sustainability innovations into one neat and tidy blue bubble

World Water Week: Six innovations to quench the global thirst for clean water

With World Water Week bringing experts and innovators to Stockholm to foster new thinking and develop solutions to water-related issues, edie rounds-up the projects and products that could aid efforts to combat water scarcity.

London’s desal ready

The Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works, the UK's first-ever desalination plant, officially opened this month. The facility, sited at Beckton, East London, will provide "seriously water-stressed" London with a back-up supply to use in the event of a drought.

Municipal strategies

Governments and their regulators have the responsibility for management and control of water consumption throughout the hydrological cycle. The priority for municipalities is to maximise water management efficiency by reducing wastage, demand, leakage and evaporation losses.

The Government of Bermuda RFQ Notice

The Government of Bermuda (Government) is developing a new seawater reverse osmosis desalination (SWROD) plant at Tynes Bay in Bermuda. The first phase of the SWROD plant is planned to be operational in 2007. The Government is seeking a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) from interested teams to provide detailed submissions outlining their capabilities to undertake a design build or design build operate SWROD plant at Tynes Bay. The Request for Qualifications will be issued on July 11, 2005, and the closing date of submission is August 5, 2005.

Mayor denies Thames desalination plant

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has blocked proposals by Thames Water to build the UK's first desalination plant on the grounds that it is too energy intensive.

A few home truths

Is the government's Sustainable Communities Plan truly sustainable? Will plans to build thousands of new homes in the south-east of England harm the environment and mean other regions become less prosperous? CIWEM executive director Nick Reeves investigates

Introduction of the Rota-sludge to a micro well-drilling project in Nicaragua has cut the time taken to create a well from 20 days to three. Similar schemes might help developing countries achieve Water Decade goals.  Photo: <a href=practicafoundation">

Micro options can help bottom-up approach

As industry experts warn that the world is failing to achieve the MDG targets for water and sanitation provision, Allerd Stikker of the Ecological Management Foundation calls for a fresh approach.

Technically speaking

Black & Veatch's Frank Rogalla looks at the quality of desalination processes

Gearing up for the next AMP round

Examining the water industry's expenditure on valves and actuators in the lead up to AMP4

Gap in consultation process

Water UK calls for sustainable water services for sustainable communities

Ongoing plant developments

Jersey has steadily improved its effluent treatment since first commissioning a WwTW in 1959. Boyd Bennie and Duncan Berry discuss short and long-term objectives for the plant

Water supply in all weathers

With a lack of groundwater and limited storage capacity Jersey is designated an area of water scarcity. Howard Snowden tells WWT about challenges facing the water company

International trade in British water expertise

Neil Semple, Deputy Head of the Worldwide Water Unit at Trade Partners UK, discusses some of the primary factors behind the state of the UK water industry’s business activity overseas.

Desalination wins over imports

Water levels in Israel's reservoirs and aquifers have dropped precipitously. The Sea of Galilee, Israel's main source of fresh water, which in the past supplied some 400 million metres³/year to the national water grid, has receded to its lowest level on record, and the government, after years of negligence, started in mid 2001 to explore emergency plans to alleviate the most serious water crisis in the country's history.

Increased scale of plant stimulates R&D

Koch Membrane Systems (KMS), a division of the Koch Chemical Technology Group, acquired Fluid Systems Corporation in 1998. Since then, KMS has invested heavily in research and development and is now launching a series improved reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membrane products and processes.

Wastewater recovery key to high resistance

Ian Crossley, Chief Engineer of Zenon, Ontario, Canada has been involved with water treatment plant design and construction for over three decades. He looks back on his career and the rise in the use of membrane technology.

Big plant - cheap at the price

After years of delays and procrastination, Israel has launched a national desalination plan, marking a turning point in its national water policy, as Aaron Priel reports.

Controlling corrosion in desalination plants

Over the past ten years, Desalination and Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems have come into their own as an excellent alternative to treating drinking water, particularly in areas which have either a shortage of natural ground/surface water or are near seawater supplies. However, there are problems associated with producing such high quality drinking water.

Product water quality at the new desalination plant conforms to EEC drinking water standards and WHO recommendations for potable water.

SWRO makes its debut in Cyprus

A new sea water reverse osmosis plant has been unveiled which could provide the solution for all coastal communities facing water shortage problems.

Desalination at Eilat: restructuring Mekorot is seen to be a priority

Ongoing crisis as demand outstrips supply

The worst in the country's history - Aaron Priel outlines some of the measures Israel is embarking upon to strengthen its institutional water management and expand the use of desalination technologies in new areas.

A public-private partnership is behind the new plant in Honolulu, Hawaii

Raising cash and getting the price right

As concerns about global water supplies continue to grow, Tom Pankrantz, Corporate Projects Dirctor of Vivendi Water Systems/USFilter, outlines commercial stratagies for larger desalination and water reuse projects.

Just deserts

Over the course of the next decade, the United Arab Emirates alone will invest some $46bn in projects related to the environment. The Abu Dhabi Declaration - a framework for sustainable use of resources in the Arab region in the 21st century - was last month endorsed by the Conference of Arab Environment Ministers, a declaration underlined by Environment 2001, the first major environmental exhibition and conference ever to be held in the region. Matt MacAllan was there.

Brackish water boosts Barbados supplies

A joint venture between Ionics Inc. and Barbados-based Williams Industries has built the largest RO desalination facility in the Caribbean providing fresh, potable water to one sixth's of the island's 264,000 population.

Stockholm tackles future resource demands

In addition to debating key global water resource issues, delegates at this year's Symposium will also celebrate the work of the latest recipient of the coveted Water Prize. Sharon Gould previews the event.

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