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Veolia said to consider shelving sale of U.K. Water Division

Veolia Environnement SA, the world’s largest water company, may shelve the sale of a stake in its U.K. water division after bids fell short of its expectations, two people familiar with the process said. The Paris-based company, which offered a 49 percent stake in the unit, drew bidders including Blackstone Group LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s infrastructure fund, the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. The U.K. water division as a whole is valued at about $800 million including debt and equity, the people said. Veolia plans to sell 3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) of assets by 2011 and reduce costs as the global economic slowdown curbs demand for waste treatment and recycling. Bloomberg_ 11/25/09

China pursues clean water technology; Canadian firms at the forefront

The staggering economic growth in China has come at a heavy cost, paid in severe contamination of the country’s air, soil and water. But now the Chinese government is aggressively pursuing more stringent environmental regulation, with a particular focus on water distribution and wastewater treatment. Canada has a strong track record for innovation and investment in clean water technology and already has a foot in the Chinese market. In 2007, China raised its national standards for drinking water and established an inspection network to monitor water quality. But water sources are still considered unreliable, and boiling water in hotels for drinking continues to be the norm. New York Times_10/26/09

Aqualiner's "Rembrandt" pipeliner may be used in the U.S.
Aqualiner Limited, a company commercialising a unique next generation trenchless pipelining technology for the water and sewerage markets, announced that its new water pipe lining product Rembrandt has received NSF/ANSI Standard 61 certification from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Standard 61certification means the Rembrandt product meets the rigid standards required for products used in drinking water system components in the U.S. water infrastructure. This includes protecting against leaching or migrating of contaminants into the drinking water supply.The Rembrandt product is a trenchless method for structurally rehabilitating underground pipes, including water mains. The company claims it can be installed with less disruption and at a substantially lower cost than conventional pipe replacement. Aqualiner`s water pipe lining allows for the possibility of rapid, same-day return to water service to urban and suburban neighbourhoods, the company said. Businesswire_9/9/09

Lawrence Township, New Jersey water system bought by Aqua America

WaterWebster.org Staff Report

Aug. 12, 2009

The Lawrenceville Water Company has been purchased by Aqua America for $3.3 million, including assumption of $400,000 in debt, Aqua America announced today. The water company serves 8,000 people in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. Aqua American Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis said in a news release the acquisition increases the company's New Jersey customer base by five percent. Aqua America subsidiary Aqua New Jersey, Inc., will operate and manage the Lawrenceville system.

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Basin Water files for Chapter 11
Basin Water Inc. (BWTR), a California water treatment company, filed Thursday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware and has reached a deal to sell its assets to Amplio Group.  The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., company listed assets of $50.6 million and debts of $14.2 million in its Chapter 11 petition filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del. The company was founded in 1999 as Basin Water Technology Inc. It changed its name to Basin Water Inc. when it went public in 2006.  But it has never made a profit and faced with the prospect of more losses in the future, as well as several lawsuits filed by shareholders, the company sought a buyer for its assets, Basin Water general counsel Scott Hamilton said in court filings.  Wall Street Journal_7/17/09

Israel's Strauss Group to buy Tami4 water company

Israel's second largest food and beverage company Strauss Group <STRS.TA> said on Sunday it had signed a deal to buy water purifier company Tana Industries for 291 million shekels. Strauss said in a statement the move, being made though its H2Q water unit, was part of its strategy to grow its water business. H2Q will be integrated into a new subsidiary, Strauss Water. Tana is held by several investors, the largest of which is the FIMI mezzanine fund, which owns 41 percent. Reuters_ 7/12/09

Scottsdale studies takeover of Arizona American Water Co.

A controversial study of whether Scottsdale should take over Arizona American Water Co. is complete, and the City Council's subcommittee on water issues will review the document Wednesday in executive session. The $312,000 study by consultants examines the technical and financial feasibility of the city providing water to Arizona American's 2,000 Scottsdale customers. Arizona American has said it does not want Scottsdale taking its customers. Arizona American is the state's largest private water utility. Most Scottsdale residents receive city water and wastewater services. Arizona Republic_ 6/23/09

Cadiz Inc. signs preliminary deal to provide water to 3 million in Southern California

Cadiz Inc., the owner of thousands of acres of California desert that’s trying to break into the water business, signed preliminary agreements with four municipal water agencies and a public utility that would allow it to supply more than three million customers in the state. The agencies and Golden State Water Co., a unit of American States Water Co., agreed to participate in Cadiz’s water-supply project, Los Angeles-based Cadiz said today. Cadiz wants to supply water to San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Ventura counties to become profitable for the first time since 1990. The plan would help municipalities cope with shortages and allow the company to realize a decade-long plan to store water under land in the Mojave Desert and ship it by pipeline to customers. The project had been opposed by environmentalists and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Bloomberg_ 6/5/09

$35 personal water filter means safe drinking water during hurricanes and other disasters

Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI) says its $34.95 personal water filter can turn "any type of contaminated or polluted water" into safe drinking water. Hydration Technology developed the technology in connection with NASA and the Department of Defense. The filter currently is being used by disaster relief organizations and branches of the United States military, according to a company news release. "LifePack allows users to scoop water from a puddle, drain or gutter to produce safe drinking water for their families following a hurricane or other natural disaster," the news release said. The forward osmosis filter is available to the public through the company's web site. News Release/Business Wire_ 5/25/09

Aquarion Water Co. offers rain barrels for water conservation in Connecticut

Aquarion Water Co. is selling 55-gallon rain barrels to area residents for $79.95, a price that's below the average retail cost of $120. Len DeJong, who heads up watershed and environmental management for the water company said the barrels Aquarion has for sale are produced by New England Rain Barrel in Massachusetts and are made from recycled material. A 1-inch rainfall from the typical roof, he said, will fill one of the rain barrels, which measure 3 feet tall by 2 feet across. Connecticut Post_ 5/25/09

Pepsi Bottling Group rejects PepsiCo purchase offer

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc.’s board rejected as “grossly inadequate” PepsiCo Inc.’s cash-and-stock proposal for a remaining stake in the company, leaving PepsiCo to consider a higher bid. PepsiCo offered about $6 billion for Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas Inc., its two biggest bottlers, on April 20, representing a 17 percent premium over the two distributors’ previous closing share prices. PepsiAmericas said today it’s still reviewing the offer. Bloomberg_ 5/4/09

San Francisco firm launches water company competition
A San Francisco-based consulting firm is launching a first-of-its-kind competition to showcase the “Top 50 Water Companies” globally, in hopes of spurring more investment in the sector.  “The purpose of the competition is to show there is a critical mass of companies that constitutes a true industry,” said Laura Shenkar, principal of the Artemis Project, which is running the contest. “This is advanced water technology, and it is a venture capital investment opportunity.”  Water has become a hot topic among investors as more regions deal with water scarcity, and climate change threatens to reduce the snowcaps on which many municipal water sources rely.  San Francisco Business Times_4/1/09

Aqua American acquires troubled Pennsylvania water and wastewater companies

Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) announced today that its Pennsylvania subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., acquired the assets of the W.P. Water Company, Inc. and W.P. Sanitary Company, Inc., which provides water and wastewater services to approximately 550 residents in the Washington Park Development in Wyoming County and the Sleepy Hollow Development in Luzerne County in a transaction valued at $185,000. Aqua's acquisition of these troubled water and wastewater systems are a result of Aqua stepping up to aid state regulatory agencies and government officials to resolve ongoing service problems for customers of these systems. Aqua plans to invest approximately $1.2 million to replace and rehabilitate the wastewater treatment plant and $900,000 to upgrade the water treatment, supply and distribution facilities. Additional improvements will be made to the wastewater collection system once the performance of the new wastewater treatment facility improves and demonstrates that its impact on the environment has been mitigated. The company has applied for low interest loans through Pennsylvania's Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), which is supported by Economic Stimulus Funds, to finance the required improvements. Aqua America is a publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company with operating subsidiaries serving approximately threemillion people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri and South Carolina. News Release_ 3/31/09

IBM launches water-management services operation
IBM Corp. is launching a new line of water services Friday, hoping to tap a new sales vein by taking the manual labor out of fighting pollution and managing water supplies. IBM says the overall water-management services market could be worth $20 billion in five years.  AP_3/13/09

Big Business urged to assess water use
Institutional investors are urging companies to measure, disclose and reduce their use of water to reduce long-term financial risks as supplies dry up from overuse and as higher temperatures melt glaciers away.  Water waste has risen as a concern amid the 2007 drought in the U.S. Southeast, the current California water crisis and concerns that rising temperatures will eliminate mountain glaciers in China, India and other countries, leading to greatly reduced summer river flows.  "Where will the water come from if not from these glaciers?" said Jason Morrison, an expert at the Pacific Institute and lead author of "Water Scarcity and Climate Change," a report commissioned by Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors, released Thursday.  Click here to download the full report.   Reuters_2/26/09

Subsidiary of copper miner Antofagasta Pic to buy desalination plant in Chile for $52.5 million

The subsidiary, Aguas de Antofagasta S.A., will purchase the plant in the city of Antofagasta, Chile from Desalant S.A. ADASA will operate the plant but the acquisition will have no direct impact on water volumes or sales as ADASA is the sole customer. Reuters_ 2/16/09

Mueller Water Products to cut executives' pay, furlough workers

Atlanta, Georgia's Mueller Water Products, which last week reported a net loss of $400 million, will temporarily furlough all employees at its 26 plants nationwide. The company has about 5,900 plant workers and 55 employees at its headquarters. Also, the company’s board of directors, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory E. Hyland, his direct reports and one division president will take 20 percent pay cuts. Other salaried employees will either have their work week reduced to 36 hours or have their base pay reduced or both. Mueller lays the pipes and hydrants in pre-building phases of residential development projects. Atlanta Journal-Constitution_ 2/9/09

GE to close its Watertown, Massachusetts water treatment plant

GE Water & Process Technologies will be relocating its electrodialysis reversal and reverse osmosis operations, as well as office staff. A reduced electrodialysis operation will be moved to another GE Water plant in Westborough, and the reverse osmosis operation will be moved to Minnetonka, Minn., according to a letter dated Feb. 2 from the company to Town Manager Michael Driscoll. The letter doesn’t state how many employees are involved with those operations in Watertown, or if any of those employees will be relocated to the new locations. Watertown Tab and Press_ 2/6/09

American Water Works offers $75 million in notes

Voorhees-based American Water Works Co. Inc. said today that its financing subsidiary, American Water Capital Corp., completed a public offering of $75 million worth of 8.25 percent senior monthly notes, which are due in 2038. American Water completed a similar debt offering Nov. 26. The U.S. water and wastewater utility company said it would use the net proceeds to repay short-term debt. Philadelphia Inquirer_ 2/4/09

January, 2009

York Water Company announces dividend
Oldest investor-owned utility keeps 193-year record intact

The York Water Company announced today that the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.126 per share.  This is the 553rd consecutive dividend paid by The York Water Company. York Water, which is the oldest investor owned utility in the nation, has paid dividends for 193 consecutive years beginning in 1816.  The dividend is payable April 15, 2009 to shareholders as of record date February 27, 2009.  MSN_1/29/09

WaterHealth International gets $10 million investment from Dow

WaterHealth International, an Irvine clean-water company, has lined up $10 million in venture capital from Dow Venture Capital, part of Dow Chemical Co., and SAIL Venture Partners. The company hopes to complete the $20 million round of funding in March. WaterHealth has more than 600 water purification and disinfection systems installed in developing nations around the world. The additional funding will allow for faster growth, the company said. OCRegister_ 1/19/09

'Sell Scottish Water to pay for bridge'
Scottish Water should be sold off to pay for the new Forth Road Bridge under proposals to be unveiled by CBI Scotland director Iain McMillan today.
Mr McMillan says the sale or mutualisation of Scottish Water would solve a funding headache by freeing cash to help build the bridge by private finance initiative. The Scotsman_ 1/19/09

German utility RWE to buy Dutch state-owned Essent for $12.4 billion

RWE said Monday it agreed to pay 9.3 billion euros ($12.4 billion), including debt, for most of Dutch state-owned utility Essent, a move that makes sense strategically while still raising a few eyebrows over the price. There may have been pressure on RWE to win the deal after it failed to acquire nuclear operator British Energy last year. French rival Electricite de France ended up winning that race. Electricite de France also managed to defuse a rival Warren Buffett bid for Constellation Energy. Essent is the Netherlands' biggest utility by sales and is owned by Dutch municipal and regional authorities. In addition to energy, it provides sewer and water services. Forbes_ 1/12/09

December, 2008

Aqua America Texas subsidiary acquires two water systems

Aqua America, Inc.’s (NYSE:WTR) Texas subsidiary announced today that it has completed the acquisition of two water companies in Hays County. Aqua Texas, Inc. purchased the assets of the Cardinal Valley Water Company and the Mountain Crest Water Company, which collectively service approximately 400 people. Aqua Texas has operated the Cardinal Valley water system since beginning its Texas operations in 2003. Both systems are in an area surrounded by other water and wastewater systems owned by Aqua Texas and will be operated out of the company’s Wimberley office near Austin. Aqua America is a publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company with operating subsidiaries serving approximately three million people in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri and South Carolina. News Release/Welt Online_ 12/30/08

France's Degremont wins $201 million Baghdad water contract
The Baghdad Water Authority has awarded a contract worth $201 million to France's Degremont, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, for construction of a drinking water plant in the Iraqi capital. The contract will be completed jointly with a group of Al Mabrook Construction & Trading and Issam al-Iraqi Construction Contractors companies. The plant will have a capacity of 200 million gallons per day. The project will supply more than four million people with water, according to a company statement. Trade Arabia News Service_ 12/30/08

Challenger sells stake in Southern Water to reduce debt

The Challenger Infrastructure Fund has sold one third of its 23.4 per cent stake in the British water supplier Southern Water to reduce debt in its portfolio and fund a buyback of its preference and ordinary shares. The sale is the fourth this year for CIF, which has battled a falling share price and investor calls to boost the value of the fund. Southern Water accounted for 44 per cent of CIF's portfolio. Sydney Morning Herald_ 12/23/08

Florida, U.S. Sugar Corp. ready to sign simpler, $1.35 billion land deal

Five months after Gov. Charlie Crist announced a stunning proposal to buy the prized 300 square miles of sugar fields from the U.S. Sugar Corp. for Everglades restoration, the state is close to having a firm deal in hand. It's a better, cheaper and simpler deal than the $1.75 billion corporate buyout first envisioned, water managers and environmentalists said. It's a straight real estate deal that leaves U.S. Sugar, the nation's oldest and largest sugar grower and a major employer in a rural region, open for business for years to come. Under the terms of a revised deal, the state will buy 185,000 acres of sugar fields for about $1.35 billion. That's $400 million less than the original price tag, likely making the deal more palatable for the South Florida Water Management District, which has raised concerned about bankrolling the deal while the state is in a budget crisis. Miami Herald_ 11/11/08

Dual flush toilet conversion valve saves water

Entrepreneurs at a company called SelectAFlush, have introduced an innovative dual flush toilet valve conversion kit they claim will conserve water, slash energy use, reduce household carbon footprints, reduce land fill and save money.  The SelectAFlush dual flush valve conversion kit, fits most toilets, saves about 7 thousand gallons of water, per year for every toilet installed. PRNewswire_11/6/08

Coke sets goals for water, carbon

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it wants to improve water efficiency across the Coca-Cola system 20 percent by 2012, compared with a baseline year of 2004. As part of the new goals, Coca-Cola announced the extension of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund.  AJC_10/31/08

Seychelle Water Filtration reports more than $267,000 for record sales revenue in September; cites  market changes

Seychelle Water Filtration Products, a DBA of Seychelle Environmental Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: SYEV), a worldwide leader in the development, manufacture and sale of proprietary portable water filtration bottles, announced today that sales revenues for the month of September exceeded $267,000 including a large order for advanced water filtration bottles for a large humanitarian organization. The company also said over $76,000 in new orders were received from a variety of customers in the US and United Kingdom. Carl Palmer, President and CEO of Seychelle, said, "September sales revenue and orders received was our strongest month since March of 2007 and is indicative of key changes we are seeing in the marketplace. There are three main reasons for Seychelle's continued sales growth; concern over the pollution of the environment caused by plastic water bottles; numerous catastrophic events; and the need to save money in difficult economic times." According to their news release, customers who use Seychelle portable water filtration, can drink water from a variety of sources "with complete confidence" -- the tap; rivers, streams, ponds or creeks. The Seychelle Ionic Adsorption Micron Filter has been tested extensively by Independent Government laboratories in the US and throughout the world to strict EPA/ANSI protocols and NSF Standards 42 and 53. News Release/Market Watch_ 10/14/08

Starbucks in hot water

Starbucks Corp. is hastily testing alternative ways to disinfect the spoons it uses to prepare drinks, after a British tabloid on Monday accused the coffee company of wasting 6.2 million gallons of water per day. The Sun's investigation, titled "The great drain robbery," has generated disgust at Starbucks from environmentalists around the world. Besides wasting tons of water while some places suffer droughts, the practice also appears to contradict Starbucks' boasted commitment to environmental responsibility. Ironically, Starbucks owns Ethos Water, a bottled water brand that donates a portion of its revenue toward helping children have access to clean water and raising awareness of a worldwide water crisis. Seattle Post-Intelligencer_ 10/9/08

Canada's GLV Water Treatment Group wins $26 million in U.S. contracts

GLV Inc. (TSX:GLV.B), a company that provides industrial and environmental cleanup equipment, says its Eimco water treatment group has won $26 million in new contracts. The contracts awarded recently include $23 million for municipal water treatment projects in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, the Montreal company said Tuesday. Canadian Press_ 10/7/08

Starbucks wasting more than 6 million gallons of water a day

American coffee giant Starbucks became the target of conservationists today after an investigation by the U.K. newspaper The Sun estimated that the company wasted up to 6 million gallons of water every day, enough to quell the thirst of a small African nation. As part of a company policy aimed at preventing germ buildup in its taps, Starbucks stores are directed to keep water running constantly into a sink, called a dipper well, to clean utensils and wash away food residue, The Sun reported. As a result of running water all day, every day at each of the company's 10,000 worldwide coffee emporiums, Starbucks wastes water in an amount The Sun estimated to be "enough daily water for the entire 2 million strong population of drought-hit Namibia in Africa or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes." The Sun investigation spanned several Starbucks locations in the United Kingdom, including stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Sydney. The practice of leaving taps on during operating hours was consistent in every location; The Sun reported that staff members were banned from turning the water off. In a statement to ABC News, the company confirmed that "the dipper well system currently in use in Starbucks retail stores ensures that we meet or exceed our own and local health standards." "Starbucks' challenge is to balance water conservation with the need for customer safety," the statement said. "They don't need to keep the tap on all the time. … A couple of minutes of running water should [clean the tap]," Jacob Tompkins of Waterwise, a nonprofit organization that focuses on decreasing U.K. water consumption, told ABCNews.com. "You don't keep the water running at home." The Sun/ABC_ 10/6/08

Pressure is on to recycle water filters

The campaign by environmentalists against plastic water bottles has been a boon to makers of tap water filters, which have been highlighting their greener-than-thou credentials. Both the Brita and the PUR brands are running ads that mock the wastefulness of bottled water. But some of those spots are being lampooned by people who point out that water filters cannot be recycled, at least in the United States. Beth Terry of Oakland, Calif., has started an online campaign to try to persuade Clorox, the company that owns Brita, to start recycling the filters. Ms. Terry has collected more than 15,000 signatures for a petition, on TakeBackTheFilter.org, which she set up in April. She has also amassed more than 374 Brita filters for recycling. In the United States, municipal waste systems are not equipped to recycle Brita filters, a situation that Clorox is trying to address, according to a letter from Donald R. Knauss, chief executive of Clorox, to a member of Ms. Terry’s group. Drew McGowan, a Clorox spokesman, said the cost of a nationwide recycling program would be “absolutely astronomical, and there’s no way any one company can afford to do this.” Nonetheless, a test program may begin within the next year that will let people return the filters to retail stores, he said. New York Times_ 10/5/08

American Water wins $348 million contract for Fort Polk, Louisiana, water and wastewater systems

WaterWebster.org Staff Report

September 30, 2008

American Water announced today that its Military Services Group has been awarded a $348 million, 50-year contract for ownership, operation and maintenance of the water and the wastewater systems at Fort Polk Army Installation, Louisiana.

"American Water is extremely pleased to be awarded this contract and we look forward to joining the Army community at Fort Polk," said Don Correll, president and CEO of American Water. "We are committed to providing our soldiers and their families with reliable, high quality water and wastewater services for the next five decades and beyond."

American Water's Military Services Group, which is reported as part of American Water's Contract Operations Group, currently operates and maintains the water and/or wastewater networks at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Sill, Okla., Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and Fort Rucker, Ala. Earlier this month, American Water was awarded the water and wastewater contract for Fort Hood, Texas.

Fort Polk is the location of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). The basic mission of the JRTC is to train light infantry forces, Special Forces, Army Rangers, and units from other branches of the American Armed Forces.

The Military Services Group of American Water provides water and wastewater services to military installations across the country as part of the federal government's Utility Privatization Program.

Founded in 1886, and headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, employing more than 7,000 workers. The company provides drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.  News Release_ 9/30/08

Aqua America Pennsylvania subsidiary acquires water system in Honesdale, Wayne County seat

Aqua America, Inc. announced today that its Pennsylvania subsidiary has completed its merger of the Honesdale Consolidated Water Company which serves approximately 6,000 people within portions of Honesdale Borough and Texas Township, Wayne County in a transaction valued at $6.7 million. Aqua America is a publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company with operating subsidiaries serving approximately three million people in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri and South Carolina. News Release/MarketWatch_ 9/30/08

American Water wins US Army contract for Fort Hood services

American Water, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced today that its Military Services Group has been awarded a contract for ownership, operation and maintenance of the water distribution system and wastewater collection system at Fort Hood Army Installation, Texas. According to the agreement, the award of this contract is estimated at approximately $329 million over a 50-year period and is also subject to price re-determination.  Fort Hood, serving a population of 218,000, is the only post in the U.S. capable of stationing and training two Armored Divisions. It is "The Army's Premier Installation to train and deploy heavy forces." The Military Services Group of American Water provides water and wastewater services to military installations across the country as part of the federal government's Utility Privatization Program.  MarketWatch_9/12/08

California American Water completes $13.4 million ownership transfer of Felton water system

California American Water on Friday completed its transfer of ownership of the Felton, California, water system to the San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD). Under terms of the agreement, SLVWD paid $13.4 million for the operating assets of the water system that serves approximately 1,330 customers in Felton. California American Water is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Voorhees, N.J.-based American Water (NYSE:AWK). Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal_ 9/5/08

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley says lenders agree to talk about restructuring $3.2 billion sewer debt for state's largest county

Alabama's Jefferson County on Friday proposed a restructuring of $3.2 billion of sewer debt with longer maturities, an offer lenders agreed to review and respond to during talks next week, Alabama's governor said. Gov. Bob Riley said in a news release from Montgomery, Alabama, that the county will be presented with a stand-still agreement through Sept. 30. A current forbearance agreement was to expire on Friday. Reuters_ 8/29/08

Alabama governor intercedes with Wall Street banks on county sewer debt to forstall largest bankruptcy ever sought by a government in the U.S.

Jefferson County's creditors will meet with Gov. Bob Riley today in Montgomery to begin negotiations on the county's financial crisis, Commissioner Jim Carns said Thursday. The meeting comes just three days after the Jefferson County Commission authorized the governor to take the lead in its negotiations with creditors and hired a lawyer to begin preparing a bankruptcy filing. The county's forbearance agreement with creditors expires today. If a deal isn't struck to extend that agreement, the county would be in default on a payment on its $3.2 billion sewer debt, on which interest rates have soared beyond the county's ability to pay. That would move the county closer to filing the nation's largest bankruptcy ever sought by a government. Carns said the county does not expect to make principal payments due today on the debt, but said the commission could afford to make a $2 million interest payment if that would get an extension of the forbearance agreement long enough to see if a deal can be negotiated to avoid bankruptcy. Birmingham News_ 8/29/08

Pennsylvania American Water announces acquisitions

American Water announced today that its subsidiary, Pennsylvania American Water, acquired the assets of the Claysville-Donegal Joint Municipal Authority (CDJMA) water and wastewater systems located in Claysville Borough and portions of Donegal and Finley townships in Washington County. The purchase price is approximately $2 million.  The newly acquired systems provide drinking water to approximately 550 customers, as well as wastewater treatment services to nearly 500 customers. The transaction represents Pennsylvania American Water's first wastewater acquisition in western Pennsylvania, joining the company's roster of wastewater operations serving approximately 14,500 customers in Monroe, Pike and Chester counties.  MarketWatch_7/31/08

New Hampshire Utilities Commission OKs eminent domain take over of Pennichuck Water Works

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has approved plans by the city of Nashua to take over Pennichuck Water Works by eminent domain. Regulators fixed the price for the acquisition at $203 million. The decision ends more than four years of litigation and requires ratification by the city. The parties have 30 days to ask for a rehearing. They also can appeal to the state Supreme Court. Pennichuck Water Works is the state's largest water utility with about 25,000 customers. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Pennichuck Corp. AP/CNN Money_ 7/25/08

Suez and Gaz de France form giant global energy firm

Shareholders in publicly-held GDF and the private Suez group Wednesday approved a merger, despite opposition from the EU and groups in France. The French government has said it hopes the new corporation will become a national energy giant. Suez has major water and waste treatment operations in addition to its energy arm. The deal amounts to the privatisation of GDF and it triggered strong objections from the French left and consternation on the part of unions. It also means that the state enters Suez as the biggest shareholder. AFP_ 7/16/08

Parsons Brinkerhoff named owner's engineer for Qatar's biggest power and desalination plant
International engineering consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) has been named owner's engineer for the Ras Laffan C Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP) project in Qatar. It is the third owner's engineer contract to be secured by PB in Qatar in the last 18 months, with similar services already being provided for the Mesaieed IPP and Ras Abu Fontas A1 IWP. Ras Laffan C will be able to produce some 2,730 MW of power from 2011 and will provide 63 million gallons per day of desalinated water, making it Qatar's biggest new-build power and desalination facility to date. The $3.7 billion IWPP will be implemented on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis by a new joint venture company, Ras Girtas Power Company. QEWC is the major shareholder with 45%, Qatar Petroleum owns 15% and the balance of 40% is owned by a consortium consisting of Suez Energy International (SEI) and Mitsui. AME Info_ 7/6/08

Deals worth more than US$270 million reached at Singapore's International Water Week

More than US$270 million worth of deals were signed during the first Singapore International Water Week, which ended on June 27. There were 27 agreements in all, between governments, utilities providers and water companies. Describing the figures as encouraging, Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the aim is to grow the meeting into a platform for global water solutions. The meeting last week saw several firsts, among them the launch of a water fund to attract US$320 million in investments for Asian water projects and a consortium comprising PUB and CPG Consultants as well as Pico Art International secured a contract to design the King Abdullah Water Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Channel News Asia/Yahoo_ 7/1/08

June, 2008

Pentair and GE's Water & Process Technologies form joint water filtration venture

GE Water & Process Technologies and Pentair Inc. Monday announced a joint venture that combines their global water softener and residential water filtration businesses. The venture is called Pentair Residential Filtration. Minnesota-based Pentair will own 80 percent, GE Water 20 percent. The combined businesses had sales of about $540 million last year. Pentair Residential Filtration will employ about 1,100 people in 15 plants across the United States, Europe and China. Philadelphia Business Journal_ 6/30/08

Water sector corruption threatens lives, environment
Corruption has made the cost of water more expensive in some developing countries than in cities like New York, London or Rome, threatening billions of lives, watchdog Transparency International said on Wednesday.  The Berlin-based non-governmental organization found in its latest global corruption report that bribes, graft and other forms of wrongdoing are the main reasons for a "global water crisis" that is speeding the pace of environmental degradation.  The report, released in Berlin and New York on Wednesday, said water sector corruption ranges from petty bribery in water delivery to the looting of irrigation and hydropower funding.  Such corruption -- seen in rich countries as well as poor -- threatens to exacerbate a global food shortage.  Reuters_6/25/08

Keeping water pure is suddenly in demand

Water has always been an issue in California. But drought conditions, not to mention worries about continued supplies of clean water, are turning water into a growth industry in California and elsewhere. Big companies like General Electric, Siemens and Veolia Environnement of France have ambitious plans to bring water to developing countries and clean water everywhere. But many small companies are finding niches and doing well these days, too. Puretec Industrial Water, of Oxnard, Calif., for example, “grew 34 percent last year,” said Jim Harris, the owner and president. The company, with 90 employees, leaped to $18 million in revenue from $13.5 million in 2006. New York Times_ 6/19/08 (logon required)

U.S. communities selling their water utilities to raise money

In March Providence, R.I., hinted it may sell off its network of water reservoirs and treatment plants to a private company. City councilors said at the time they hoped to raise between $400 million to $600 million, which could be used to pay down the city's large pension debt. American Water Works Co., which recently went public, is in the midst of a $100 million negotiation to buy the suburban network of Trenton, N.J.'s water system. Other deals are in the works. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that $277 billion will be needed over the next two decades to repair and improve drinking water systems. Some engineers put the figure much higher. AP_ 6/16/08

Texas Water
If water is the new oil, T. Boone Pickens is a modern-day John D. Rockefeller. Pickens owns more water than any other individual in the U.S. and is looking to control even more. He hopes to sell the water he already has on his Texas Panhandle property, some 65 billion gallons a year, to Dallas, transporting it over 250 miles, 11 counties, and about 650 tracts of private property. The electricity generated by an enormous wind farm he is setting up in the Panhandle would also flow along that corridor. As far as Pickens is concerned, he could be selling wind, water, natural gas, or uranium; it's all a matter of supply and demand. "There are people who will buy the water when they need it. And the people who have the water want to sell it. That's the blood, guts, and feathers of the thing," he says.  BusinessWeek_6/13/08

Veolia wins 24 million euro order for new water plant in Indian city of Nagpur

French utility Veolia Environnement said it has won a contract worth 24 million euros to design, build and operate a new water-production plant in the city of Nagpur, central India. The construction of the plant, with a capacity of 240,000 cubic metres a day, will last 30 months and be followed by a 15 year operating period, Veolia said in a statement. Thomson Financial/Forbes_ 6/9/08

American Water Works subsidiary buys Pennsylvania water utility

American Water Works Co. said Monday that its Pennsylvania American Water subsidiary has acquired the water utility that serves Mountain Top Estates in Middle Smithfield Township for $240,000. The utility serves 180 people in Monroe County. It's near systems operated by Pennsylvania American Water that serve other Monroe County communities and Lehman and Delaware townships in Pike County. Pennsylvania American Water is based in Hershey, Pa. It provides water and/or wastewater services to more than 2.1 million people. American Water, based in Voorhees, N.J., is the largest publicly owned operator of water and wastewater utilities in the United States, serving 15.6 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. Philadelphia Business Journal_ 6/2/08

Former Northern Ireland Water chief executive gets £266,000 severance package

Katharine Bryan left her post at the end of May following discontent that an error in the company's business plan would increase household water bills. The multi-million pound shortfall sparked concerns of an extra £30 on water bills. It's believed the Regional Development Minister told the company's chairman that change was needed at the top. Ms Bryan held her post for four years. The shortfall is being investigated by the Utility Regulator. BBC News_ 6/2/08

Water shortages and drought are the next scourge, GE warns: Plans to cut its own water use by 20%

The next scourge to afflict the global economy after soaring oil and food prices will be a surge in the cost of water brought on by growing scarcity, one of the world's biggest companies warned yesterday. General Electric, the US industrial group, said it would cut its own use of water by 20% by 2012 and export water-saving and recycling technology to countries - often emerging economies - hit by shortages. Jeff Immelt, chief executive, said in Beijing: "We believe that, just as greenhouse gas emissions have been a big societal challenge, the same thing is true for water." The move by GE comes as scientists are warning that 50% of the world's nations will be hit by water shortages by 2025 and 75% by 2050. Drought, already one source of surging food prices and water shortages could prompt fresh outbreaks of war and terrorism as global warming, if unchecked, spreads desertification around the world and causes increasing crop failures, they say. A billion of the world's poorest people drink unsafe water, according to Unicef. Senior UN officials warned MEPs this year that nuclear power plants in Europe and the US could face shutdown because of a lack of cooling water, while the switch to biofuels was proving a big drain on dwindling supplies. A cabinet office report predicted that by 2050 half of arable land in the world might no longer be suitable for production because of water shortages and climate change. By then the global population is expected to have grown from today's 6.3 billion to 9 billion. The Guardian_ 5/29/08

RWE sells additional American Water stake

RWE AG, Germany's second biggest utility, has sold an additional 5 million shares of its U.S. unit, American Water Works Co., for more than $100 million to underwriters of its recent initial public offering. The Essen-based electricity and gas company said in a statement it had completed the sale of about 5.17 million extra shares at $20.85 per share, or about $107.8 million. RWE said the underwriters' purchase constituted the partial exercise of the overallotment option to buy additional shares, bringing the total size of the offering to approximately 63.17 million shares of American Water, or approximately 40 percent of the outstanding shares. The company has said it intends to sell a majority stake. Total net proceeds from the sale of American Water stakes now stand at $1.3 billion, the company said. AP/Forbes_ 5/28/08

Pentair, GE Water unit mull joint venture

Pentair Inc. said Wednesday it is considering a joint venture with GE Water & Process Technologies that would combine the companies' water softener and residential water filtration businesses. Under the plan currently in negotiations, Pentair would own 80 percent of the joint venture and GE Water & Process Technologies would own 20 percent. Pentair makes products for moving, treating and storing water. AP/Forbes_ 5/28/08

Wisconsin businesses aim to build water industry ties to Vietnam, Asia's next economic 'tiger in the making'

Some of Wisconsin's best-known companies are lining up to do business in Vietnam, a country whose rapid growth is evidence that the economic success of China and India is spilling over into neighboring economies. A conference today in Milwaukee aims to connect local companies with business opportunities in Vietnam. Sponsors include Vietnomics, a new Milwaukee-based trade consultancy, and Hathaway-Nguyen Capital Management Inc., a local investment firm that will invest in Vietnamese stocks. Jeff Browne, the founder of Vietnomics, who until recently was president of the Public Policy Forum think tank, also is organizing a trade mission to Vietnam later this year to help export water-treatment technology, an emerging strength of the Milwaukee region. Civic leaders in Milwaukee recently woke up to the realization that their own region has a concentration of companies that clean, conserve, recycle and desalinate water - all technologies that are in demand globally. Among those attending today's conference is Le Cong Phung, Vietnam's ambassador to the U.S. The ambassador arrived Wednesday as part of a five-man delegation that includes the director of Vietnam's trade office in New York as well as the director of the commercial division of Vietnam's Washington embassy. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel_ 5/14/08

Global Water wants to pipe into southwestern U.S. markets

Phoenix-based Global Water Resources plans to go public with its shares and wants to flood the southwestern U.S. with its method of making water more sustainable. Global Water contends that once you can manage water in the Valley of the Sun, you can do it anywhere. It currently operates 16 utilities in Phoenix where resources must be stretched to quench the booming desert's water needs. The company said it has the potential capacity to serve two million service connections in the future and is planning to expand into other residential hot spots like Idaho and Nevada. Under the water utility's TWM approach, water is controlled throughout the entire cycle to maximize its economic value. Global Water aims to increase acceptance for broader uses of recycled water that would be distributed through a separate pipe system and would build integrated water and wastewater facilities. "Our objective is to become the largest investor-owned operator of integrated water utilities in areas of the arid western U.S. where water scarcity management is necessary for long-term economic sustainability and growth," the company said, adding that TWM has proven effective and could sustain communities in areas where growth is expected to outpace the existing potable water supply. Forbes_ 5/14/08

PepsiCo buys UK vitamin water brand V Water
PepsiCo Inc said on Wednesday it acquired Britain's V Water, adding a new front to the war over vitamin-enhanced bottled water.  V Water, which comes in six flavors, is made from spring water and additions such as vitamin C, zinc and ginseng. It is very similar to Coca-Cola Co's vitaminwater, which Coke plans to launch this year in select countries, including the UK, said Morgan Stanley analyst William Pecoriello. Reuters_4/30/08

India's TCS signs 60 million pounds deal with Scottish Water

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has signed an eight-year IT application services contract, worth 60 million pounds, with the Britain's sole public sector water utility Scottish Water, the company said in a statement on Monday. The contract will help Scottish Water, which serves 5.5 million customers in Scotland, save one million pounds per annum in operational expenses or a total savings of eight million pounds during the contract period. Economic times_ 4/28/08

American Water Works falls as much as 6% on first NYSE trading day

American Water Works Co., the largest U.S. private-sector water utility, fell as much as 6 percent in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. American Water declined 52 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $20.98 in 10:52 a.m. NYSE composite trading. RWE AG, Germany's second- largest utility behind E.ON AG, raised $1.2 billion by selling 36 percent of the Voorhees, New Jersey-based company's shares. American Water, founded in 1886, supplies about 15.6 million people with water and wastewater services in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada, and has about 7,000 employees, according to the company's Web site. RWE bought it for $8.6 billion in 2003. Bloomberg_ 4/23/08

Calgon Carbon awarded $2.3M water treatment contract

Calgon Carbon Corporation announced today that it has been awarded a contract from the City of Scottsdale, Arizona to supply granular activated carbon (GAC) and provide related services for two new water treatment facilities. The value of the contract is $2.3 million. The City may renew the contract for up to four additional years. Under terms of the one-year contract, Calgon Carbon will supply GAC and provide reactivation and related services for two new potable water treatment facilities, the Chaparral Water Treatment Plant and the Central Arizona Project Water Treatment Plant, which can process approximately 100-million gallons of water per day.  The Earth Times_4/17/08

Water purification companies draw investors' interest

After investors' interest in water purification companies led to wave of acquisitions in recent years, more privately held companies in the sector are likely to go public in hopes of increasing their value, according to analysts.  Water companies have become prized acquisition targets as a result of growing concerns over shortages of clean water, the increased infrastructure needs of developing countries, more stringent regulations and an aging water distribution system in the United States.  Private equity firms and companies like General Electric, Dow Chemical and 3M have purchased many water purification equipment companies with promising growth prospects within a fragmented water industry.  In the near term, consolidation has narrowed investment opportunities, but the sector is likely to see more new entrants in the long run, said Philippe Rohner, a fund manager at Pictet, which manages about $4 billion of assets in the water industry.  International Herald Tribune_4/16/08

Analyst pushes water sector as global warming affects supply

With money already being allocated to combat global warming's affect on water supply, investors cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and wait for politicians to settle the matter, an analyst said Tuesday. Dwindling snowfalls and snowpacks, changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels and increased droughts are all consequences of climate change, Boenning & Scattergood analyst Ryan M. Conners said in a note to clients. Conners said he normally avoids "politically charged" topics in his research, but the water industry's current actions have created an investment opportunity.   AP/Forbes_ 4/15/08

Scotts' $30 Million ad campaign touts water-saving fertilizer

Scotts Miracle-Gro, which makes yard and lawn maintenance products, is launching its first national campaign to tout a new product around the issue of water conservation. The $30 million effort supports a new fertilizer, Turf Builder with Water Smart. The effort, coming as the Southeast and West struggle with the worst droughts in memory, is intended to counter the argument that lawn maintenance wastes water. Particularly in the Southwest, there has been a movement in recent years toward using indigenous water-sipping plants over traditional and thirsty grass yards. Scotts' claims their new fertilizer uses less water. The company argues, in the campaign, that healthy lawns clean and cool the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and by collecting dust and dirt. The campaign comprises national television, local radio, weekly news and national print, as well as online advertising. MediaPost Publications_4/11/08

Rheem sets waterheater debate: tank or tankless

Rheem Water Heating announced today it has created a new website to address the issues of tankless vs. tank water heaters.  The site, www.smarterhotwater.com is aimed at helping design and construction professionals advise their customers which system is best for different circumstances."Being water-heater agnostic makes Rheem a credible resource to help professionals sort out the claims and counterclaims about tank and tankless water heaters," said Bob Hitchner, Director of Rheem Tankless Sales, based in Montgomery, Ala. "We designed SmarterHotWater.com so professionals could feel confident in their ability to recommend the best solution based on performance, project budget and long-term operating costs." Press Release_4/11/08

Suez to buy into Chinese water group

French energy and environment group Suez said it will take a 15 percent stake with its partner in a Chinese company for 1.5 billion yuan ($214.1 million). Suez Environment and its Hong Kong partner New World Services will buy into Chongqing Water Group (CWG), a major water service supplier, the French group said in a statement. CWG runs 32 water treatment plants and 35 wastewater facilities in Chongqing that provide services to about 8.4 million residents. China Daily_ 4/8/08

Nestle CEO says increasing scarcity of water could become problem for company

Nestle SA.'s chief executive Peter Brabeck said the increasing scarcity of water may become a problem for the Swiss food company, according to an interview on Swiss station Radio DRS over the weekend. Brabeck also said that due to a recent push for biofuels food growers now have to compete with biofuel makers for land and water. It takes about 9,100 litres of water to produce one litre of biofuel, he added. Thomson Financial/Forbes_ 4/7/08

Analysis: Water utilities safe
Shares of water utilities mostly rose Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he does not expect America's investment banks to be as hurt by the global credit woes that befell Bear Stearns.  The news is positive for wary investors and the broader markets in general. Despite economic bumps and turns, water utilities are generally seen as safe investments because their chief product is a necessary purchase for all consumers.  Forbes_4/2/08

Water security system installed

Orsus, a company which describes itself as a pioneer in the field of Situation Management, a new holistic approach to optimizing situation planning, response and analysis, reports it has been awarded a contract to install its Situator product suite with a large, U.S.-based supplier of water and wastewater treatment services. The project involves integrating access control, video surveillance, sensors and radar systems located at 50 facilities into a unified platform.  The implementation of Situator began in February 2008 and is expected to double in size over the next year. The 50 facilities connected via Situator include pump stations and water treatment facilities to reservoirs and holding tanks. The water supply company serves 2.8 million residents and will monitor and manage Situator from its corporate headquarters.  Press Release_ 4/3/08

USAID Recognizes Coca-Cola with Award
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on March 26 recognized The Coca-cola Company with the 2007 Alliance of the Year award for its efforts to promote sustainable water management in developing countries through the Water and Development Alliance (WADA).  The award is given annually by USAID's Global Development Alliance office to recognize outstanding public-private partnerships that address international development challenges.  Since 2005, The USAID and The Coca-cola Company have collaborated in a unique public-private alliance to address global water challenges. Working in conjunction with local USAID Missions and Coca-cola system partners (foundations and bottling facilities), WADA supports activities to protect and sustain watersheds, increase access to water supply and sanitation, and enhance productive uses of water.  The Financial_3/27/08

Siemens opens global water R&D center

Siemens Water Technologies announced the opening of its new Global Water Research and Development Center at PUB´s The WaterHub building in Singapore. Dr. Ruediger Knauf has been named Director and will oversee the Siemens research and development activities in the region. This is the first step toward the company´s EUR 25 million investment in water technology research and product development in the Asia-Pacific region.  The Global R&D Center will collaborate with Singapore's Public Utilities Board (PUB), universities and environmental authorities on water and wastewater treatment projects. For its first project, Siemens will work with PUB and A*STAR´s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) to improve the overall energy efficiency of its Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) process and identify opportunities for future product development.  Press Release_3/21/08

 

International investors warm to water as shortages mount

As liquidity is drained from credit and money markets and pours into oil and gold, another asset class that could offer long-term returns to the discerning investor is water. Water shortages are on the rise -- stemming from soaring demand, growing populations, rising living standards and changing diets. A lack of supply is compounded by pollution and climate change.
Investors are mobilising funds to buy the assets that control water and improve supplies, especially in developing countries such as China where urban populations are booming, further tightening supply. FourWinds Capital Management will this year start raising global funds initially of up to 3 billion euros ($4.68 billion) to invest in water, said Kimberly Tara, FourWinds' chief executive. Water shortage is already a serious problem in many regions of the world, as underlined in a December report from Zurich-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), which manages about 8.5 billion Swiss francs in assets. These include southern Spain, the Maghreb, the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan, southern India and northern China. In the Americas, the U.S. mid-west, Mexico and the Andes are the worst-hit areas. Eastern Australia is also badly affected. China is a particularly strong example. It has a fifth of the world's population but just 7 percent of the water. Reuters/Guardian_ 3/19/08

York Water Company has record year

The York Water Co. had a record year in 2007, posting its highest ever operating revenue, net income and dividends. Company officials said the growth was due to an increase in customers and a rate hike that took effect in late 2006, according to a year-end report the company issued Wednesday. For the year, net income increased 5.3 percent, from $6.09 million in 2006 to $6.41 million for 2007. York Dispatch_ 3/14/08

Blue is the new green: How water is becoming the next coveted commodity

Traditionally, water bills have been ridiculously low in Canada, representing a fraction of a family's monthly expenses. But as municipalities struggle to fix crumbling pipes and waste-water facilities, cheap water is becoming a thing of the past. For consumers, that means another assault on the pocketbook. For engineering firms and investors, it's a brave new world of opportunities, with projects ranging from reconstructing old treatment systems to the construction of new residential subdivisions and desalination plants. So it's not surprising that when it comes to investment trends, blue is the new green. But just how far will countries go in privatizing -- and commoditizing -- water assets and how will it affect both investors and consumers? Craig Donohue, chief executive of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hinted back in October that water may become commoditized and traded as a futures contract. That prediction has not yet materialized, but Benjamin Tal, analyst at CIBC World Markets, believes the private sector will play an increasingly larger role in water delivery. Europe has been a leader in the development and utilization of water assets, and such long-term investors as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have snapped up shares in privatized utilities such as U.K.-based Anglian Water Services Ltd. In the United States, water markets are also emerging. In some western states, water rights have been traded through private transactions and small water utilities are up for sale. FinancialPost.com_ 2/23/08

Investing Analysis: A world of water woes
Droughts and rising populations are stressing supplies of the precious liquid. Could we be nearing the next major natural resource crisis?  Water may be the source of the next major natural resource crisis. A rising world population; increased demand for water for agriculture, industry, and energy production; and a growing desire for safer and more plentiful water supplies are pressuring existing resources. At the same time, climate change may be reducing the availability of fresh water. Most citizens of Europe and North America have taken for granted access to cheap, safe water. People in Asia, Africa, and Latin America would like to. Will all of us have to start thinking harder about it?   Business Week_2/21/08

French water company Suez Group's cautionary tale in China

Paris-based Suez Group (SZE) is a global player in the business of water treatment plants—those elaborate systems built to purify water and deliver it to a local utility or directly to customers. Suez has targeted China for a major drive. That makes sense: 312 million Chinese, or a quarter of the population, do not have clean water to drink. By and large the venture has been successful. But in Siping, an urban area of 3 million in China's impoverished northeast, Suez can't get paid despite years of trying. Its project in Siping, though small (Suez invested less than $3 million), has turned into a cautionary tale not just for investors interested in China's water treatment industry but also for all foreigners doing business in China—even in a surefire business like water. Business Week_ 2/11/08

AECOM to acquire Boyle Engineering, expand water, wastewater, storm water expertise

Boyle Engineering is a Newport Beach, Calif.-based engineering firm that specializes in the water sector, including drinking water, wastewater treatment and water-resource management. Boyle will strengthen AECOM's growing environmental practice, particularly in the important water and wastewater markets. Boyle has an especially strong presence in the southeast and western United States, and employs more than 600 people. Phil Petrocelli, Boyle president and chief executive officer, will take on a broader leadership role within AECOM's combined water business. He will also join the AECOM Leadership Council. The investment banking firm of Farlie Turner advised Boyle on the transaction. AECOM (NYSE: ACM) is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental and energy. With more than 33,000 employees around the world, AECOM serves clients in more than 60 countries and had revenue of $4.2 billion during fiscal year 2007. News Release/Centreville Daily_ 2/11/08

Water, water everywhere--for investors

Although it's a renewable resource, the 2½ percent of water on Earth that's not salty or trapped in ice is steady decreasing as the world population continues to rise. Meanwhile, water systems are widely in disrepair. Much of the existing water infrastructure in the United States was built in the period following World War II. The American Water Works Association estimates that it will take at least $250 billion to replace thousands of miles of leaky water lines and aging filtration plants over the next 30 years. The situation in developing countries is even worse. "With many developing countries now flush with capital, infrastructure spending in the emerging economies is set to skyrocket, and water should capture a healthy portion of the share," says Les Satlow of Cabot Money Management. Many companies stand to benefit from massive spending on infrastructure. In fact, many already are: On average, stocks in the water sector gained 22 percent in 2007, compared with a 4 percent increase for the S&P 500, according to the Boenning & Scattergood Water Digest. U.S. News & World Report_ 2/8/08

Black & Veatch expands dams and reservoirs business

Black & Veatch, a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company, today announced the expansion of its dams and reservoirs practice within its water business to support initiatives related to water scarcity and aging infrastructure. To lead its expanding focus on the dams and reservoirs practice, the company named Greg Zamensky and Del Shannon as regional practice leaders for dams and reservoirs in the United States. Faruk Oksuz will provide overall direction and act as the group’s leader for business development.
The central factors contributing to increased market demand in the dam and water sector include persistent water scarcity conditions worldwide, aging of global infrastructure, heightened awareness of flood risk and population growth, the news release said. Recent major Black & Veatch projects in the dams and reservoirs area include the East Side Reservoir near Los Angeles, Calif., the largest surface-water reservoir built in the United States in the last 50 years; Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir with a 22-mile water-retaining embankment near West Palm Beach, Fla.; supervisory engineering in China for Long Tan Dam, the world’s largest roller-compacted concrete dam; and the award-winning Lake Lenexa dam and spillway in Kansas. News Release_ 1/24/08

PepsiCo announces initiatives with the Earth Institute and H20 Africa

Efforts to improve rural water in Africa, China, India and Brazil

PepsiCo announced today a major new grant made by the PepsiCo Foundation to the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a partnership with H2O Africa, a foundation focused on clean water initiatives in Africa. Both initiatives are targeted to drive sustainable water practices.  The initiative led by the Earth Institute and supported by the PepsiCo Foundation involves identifying a series of high-impact, community-based activities and practical solutions across water, agriculture and climate. The effort is focused on improving water access, increasing water productivity and recommending innovative methods to deliver "more crop per drop," among other goals. The Earth Institute will receive $6 million during a three-year period directed at projects in India, Brazil, China and Africa based on annual progress in these markets.  The PepsiCo partnership with H2O Africa involves on-the-ground clean water projects in Niger, Mali, Senegal and other countries in Africa. H2O Africa will receive $2.5 million over the next 12 months.  Press Release_1/22/08

No pesticides in water used  by Coca-Cola plants in India

The water used in India's Coca-Cola is free of pesticides, a noted New-Delhi-based research center said following long-standing allegations that Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drinks were tainted. The announcement was made late Monday by The Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI, following an examination of six of Coca-Cola Co.'s bottling plants. The center gave the water a clean bill of health but said the soft drink maker needed to do more for water conservation in areas where it operates. TERI is headed by Chief United Nations climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who shared last year's Nobel Peace Prize. TERI said it was asked to carry out an independent evaluation of the plants by the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and the University of Michigan after a 2006 report by another Indian environmental group, the Center for Science and Environment, charged that Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain high levels of pesticides. In response to the TERI report, CSE said Coca-Cola could not be described as pesticide-free, because only the water had been tested and not the rest of the ingredients. "TERI has not tested the final product, which we drink," said the CSE statement."The CSE study in 2003 and 2006 tested bottles of colas and found pesticides above safe limits in the drinks." Although many food products in India contain pesticides, the CSE said it focused on Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. because they account for nearly 80 percent of India's $2 billion soft drink market. York Dispatch_ 1/14/08

Why water is worth buying into in 2008; Blue gold, they've been calling it.

Water has started to creep onto the radar of investors, but is still far from front-page news. That's going to change.  Oil at $100 a barrel is bad news. But at least we can run cars on something else if we really need to. There is no substitute for water. And as countries in Asia and other emerging markets continue to urbanise, and upgrade their eating habits (meat is a far more water intensive foodstuff than vegetables - you need water to grow all that grain to feed up the animals), the pressure on the world's fixed water supplies will just keep growing.  The majority of Chinese cities already face water shortages due to a combination of pollution (more than 70% of China's rivers are contaminated) and simple scarcity. India is running low as farmers have been drilling boreholes to pump up scarce groundwater supplies to feed crops. It takes a long time to accumulate groundwater, and it's being reduced much more rapidly than the rains can replace it.  So water is undoubtedly a problem. Now usually, if something is scarce, it drives up the price - take oil, for example. But water's not really a commodity as such - certainly not one you can invest in by simply buying some water itself.  You could of course, invest in bottled water, but I wouldn't advise it. It's not that easy to find a pure play for a start, but more importantly, something of a backlash against bottled water is gradually building - and not before time.  So where should you be investing?   Well, you can invest in companies that are trying to find solutions to water problems - improving infrastructure, desalination and the like. It's a positive way to invest in the problem - at least you are backing companies looking for solutions.  Money_1/3/08

 

California Water and SJW shares jump

Shares of two California water utilities jumped Monday after an analyst said their low valuations present a buying opportunity, despite ongoing drought conditions in the state. Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst Michael E. Gaugler upgraded both California Water Service Group and SJW Corp. to "Buy" from "Hold" in a research note Monday. California Water shares rose $1.17, or 3.3 percent, to close at $37.02. The stock has traded between $34.23 and $45.37 during the past 52 weeks. SJW's stock gained $2.07, or 6.4 percent, to $34.67 Monday. During the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $27.65 and $43. Gaugler said recent forecasts from the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration point to improved weather patterns in the first quarter of 2008. He noted that "the shares of both stocks have pulled back substantially in recent days, to a point where we feel current valuations justify taking positions." AP/Boston Globe_ 12/31/07

Basin Water sells rights to Southern California water conveyance assets to Nevada's Empire Water Corporation

Basin Water Inc. (NASDAQ:BWTR), announced that it has completed a transaction with Empire Water Corporation (Nevada) to sell the rights its wholly-owned subsidiary acquired to Southern California water conveyance assets in May 2007 of this year. The right to purchase these assets was owned by Basin Water Resources, Inc. -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Basin Water, Inc. These assets include an 18-mile water conveyance canal, rights to pump water from the San Bernardino County Basin and other equipment, tangible and intangible property that were held by the West Riverside Canal Company and the West Riverside 350 Inch Company. As compensation, Basin Water Resources received 6 million shares of Empire Water Corporation at the first closing. It will receive an additional 6 million shares at a second closing to occur before June 30, 2008. These shares will be subject to a one-year lockup. As a second part of the transaction, Empire Water purchased a 1000 gallon per minute (gpm) nitrate removal system from Basin Water that will be held in inventory until it is deployed at a later date. Formerly known as Cascade Coaching Corp., Empire Water Corporation was recently renamed in anticipation of this transaction with Basin Water. Empire Water is currently listed on the OTC bulletin board. The company has retained financial services and investment banking firm Canaccord Adams to raise up to $20 million to fund the purchase and development of the canal project. In order to fund the immediate purchase of the canal before year-end, when the options were to expire, the funds are being raised in two tranches. The first tranche raised approximately $3.75 million at $1.25 per share (plus equivalent warrant coverage) at the first closing, with another $250,000 expected to be raised shortly after the first closing. The second stage is expected to raise the balance and to close before June 30, 2008. The assets that form the basis for this transaction come from two of the oldest water companies in California. The West Riverside Canal Company was formed in 1886 and owned an 18-mile-long canal that has historically been used to transport water for agricultural and other non-potable water applications. The canal crosses several of the largest groundwater basins in Southern California. The West Riverside 350 Inch Water Company was formed in 1891 and had historic water rights in the Riverside Basin of approximately 960 million gallons per year. It operated two wells and a pipeline distribution system producing approximately 150 million gallons per year of non-potable water. Future development of the canal assets offers Basin Water a platform to compete for service opportunities to treat impaired groundwater to increase the volume of water available for conveyance and sale by Empire Water. News Release/Fox Business_ 12/28/07

Warren Buffett buys Marmon Holdings Inc.

On Christmas Day, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to pay the Pritzker family of Chicago $4.5 billion for 60 percent of Marmon Holdings Inc, which makes such things as railroad tank cars, plumbing pipes, metal fasteners, and wiring and water treatment products used in residential construction. Berkshire plans to buy the rest of Marmon by 2014, for a price based on future earnings. Buffett generally favors companies with easy-to-understand businesses, strong management, consistent earnings power, good returns on equity, and little or no debt. Speaking on CNBC television on Wednesday, the 77-year-old said "the test will not be whether the stock market likes it today or tomorrow," but how Marmon performs "in 10 or 20 years .... It's a very large bet on America over a long period of time." Berkshire's businesses employ about 220,000 people. They generated a $10.27 billion profit on revenue of $90.2 billion from January to September. Reuters_ 12/26/07

UK's Ofwat publishes proposals to spur water sector competition

U.K. water regulator Ofwat Thursday published proposals to change England and Wales' water supply licensing regime in order to spur more competition and bring more benefits for consumers. Ofwat Thursday proposed that the current 2,200 customers eligible to change water supplier should be increased to include around 27,000 non-households, rising to all 1.2 million non-households in the near future. Ofwat is also proposing that the government remove the costs principle from the current pricing regime in order to create greater flexibility in how access prices should be set. Ofwat's proposals were published on the same day that the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs completed a two-year pilot program in the southwest of England that looked at the combined effect of benefit entitlement checks, water metering and water efficiency measures on low-income households. The study found that the pilot program was cost beneficial, with savings of more than 10 times the costs of providing the service. Dow Jones/NASDAQ_ 12/21/07

Toray Industries wins Saudi membrane order for seawater desalination plant

Major synthetic fiber maker Toray Industries Inc said Monday it has landed a Saudi Arabian order for high-tech membranes to desalinate seawater. The reverse osmosis membranes will be installed at a large seawater desalination plant to be set up in an industrial complex in Shuaiba, south of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, Toray said. The plant, expected to start operations in early 2009, will have a capacity to desalinate 150,000 cubic meters of water per day, it said. Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest market for seawater desalination with the country producing 1.24 billion cubic meters of desalinated water in 2005. Japan Today_ 12/10/07

British water firm Severn Trent faces action over alleged fraud
British water group Severn Trent will face prosecution over claims that it handed false information to the country's water regulatory body, the government's fraud office said Thursday.  Severn Trent, which supplies water to about 3.7 million household and business customers in Britain, said it would cooperate fully with the criminal probe, whose start date has not been set.  "The Serious Fraud Office has informed Severn Trent Water Ltd that it is to be charged with offences concerning the provision of false information to the industry regulatory body, Ofwat," the SFO said in a statement.  It added: "A date for first court hearing in these criminal proceedings has yet to be fixed."  The alleged offences related to data on water leakage that Severn Trent submitted to Ofwat between 2000 and 2002. AFP_11/22/07

Consortium's £3bn offer for Kelda shows water is still hot
Kelda, the company that owns Yorkshire Water, said it had received a £3bn takeover approach from a consortium of investors including the banking groups HSBC and Citigroup.The talks are the latest in a series of deals in the water industry, which is being targeted by a growing number of infrastructure funds keen to make safe and predictable investments that return a steady stream of cash.  The consortium has offered 1100.65p a share in cash. The talks are well advanced and a deal could be announced as early as next week. The announcement was put out as rumours in the market sent Kelda shares higher in early trade. The shares closed at £10.55, a 12.5% rise.  Analysts have long tipped Kelda as a potential takeover target. It supplies water and waste services to 4.7m people and 140,000 businesses. The Bradford-based business last year saw operating profits of £333m on sales of £741m. It also repeatedly comes out well in Ofwat assessments.  The Guardian_11/23/07

WaterPure International installs first atmospheric water generator in Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, PA

WaterPure International, Inc. announced today that it has delivered and installed the first atmospheric water generator (AWG) at the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce in Doylestown, PA.  According to their press release, the "WaterPure Atmospheric Water Generator extracts moisture from the atmosphere through a condensation process and transforms it into absolutely pure, healthy drinking water. Multiple air and water filtration systems remove particulate matter smaller than .01 microns. Utilizing high intensity UV (ultra violet), it eliminates any microorganisms including bacteria and viruses. Test results of WaterPure water measured 99.9% purity, far exceeding EPA requirements. Operating on standard 110v power in the USA, it is extremely efficient and uses a minimal amount of energy to produce water. Depending on local electricity costs, a gallon of WaterPure water costs about 8 cents to produce. The unit requires no plumbing, water lines, or pipes and is easily installed. Driven by a microcomputer control system, it will stop generating water when full. The WaterPure purification system employs special filters to remove any unpleasant tastes or odor that may be present in the air. "CNN_11/15/07

Regulator fines UK's Southern Water £20.3m for deception and overcharging
A water company that admitted a “terrible crime” against its customers has been fined £20.3 million.  Southern Water, which supplies 1.8 million households with water and sewerage services in the South and South East, admitted that it misled the regulator over a seven-year period, leading to its customers being overcharged by an average of £10.50 per household.  Shareholders in the business will pick up the fine imposed by Ofwat, the biggest penalty levied since the regulator was given fining powers two years ago.  Southern Water, which was bought last month by a consortium led by JPMorgan and the Challenger Infrastructure Fund, of Australia, for £1.3 billion from the Royal Bank of Scotland, was accused of systematically manipulating information to conceal the company’s true performance over an extended period of time.   Times_11/14/07

RWE postpones American Water IPO, cancels shares buy-back, dividend increase

RWE AG disappointed investors today by indefinitely postponing the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of American Water and as a consequence delaying a planned share buy-back program and a planned increase in dividend payments. RWE this morning said it postponed its planned initial public offering (IPO) of American Water 'in light of the currently unfavourable conditions in the US capital market.' 'RWE does not expect that it can achieve an adequate value for American Water at present,' the company said in a statement. Thompson Financial/AFX/Forbes_11/14/07

Basin Water posts wider 3Q loss; shares sink

Basin Water Inc. (BWTR) Wednesday posted a wider third- quarter loss, partly on a $4.7 million charge for future projected losses due to inadequate legacy contracts, sending shares down 16.5%. The loss overshadowed a separate announcement that Basin Water and a unit of Rohm and Haas Co. (ROH) were forming an alliance to serve water treatment markets in the U.S. and Canada. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., water treatment system producer said its third- quarter loss widened to $9.87 million, or 50 cents a share, from $781,000, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $5.35 million from $4.85 million a year ago. Analysts had forecast, on average, a loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $ 6.13 billion. Dow Jones/CNN_ 11/14/07

October, 2007

UK's Arcapita sells South Staffordshire water to Alinda

Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita, whose investments comply with Islamic law, said on Monday it had sold water company South Staffordshire to private investment firm Alinda Capital Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source familiar with them said it was worth about 400 million pounds, including debt. Water companies are attractive to financial bidders who prize them for their stable, regulated cashflow, which can be easily used to pay interest on bonds issued. Reuters_ 10/29/07

Canada's Royal Bank to invest in clean water
Calling water scarcity an "urgent global humanitarian crisis," the Royal Bank of Canada announced yesterday the creation of a $50 million program to support water conservation and access to clean water.  The company said the 10-year grant program, called the RBC Blue Water Project, represents the largest charitable commitment in its history. It will fund projects both within and outside Canada, including community-based initiatives aimed at local water conservation.  RBC chief operating officer Barbara Stymiest said the company focused on water because of its significance to Canada as a natural resource.  "You could say it represents Canada," she said. "The less informed might associate water shortages with developing nations, but with developed nations it's a key issue as well."  Australia, parts of the United States, and even areas of Canada are feeling the impact of water scarcity, she added. "We think it could become and is becoming a material economic issue."  The Star_10/25/07

Climate change fears are finally making investors take water seriously

With water in the headlines repeatedly, and with it the possibilities for research and venture investment in water security, opportunities in water technology were ripe for discussion at GoingGreen's venture investment conference.  Among the water investors, most of the discussion focused upon whether innovative solutions to water scarcity and water purification would sell: historically, a small number of enormous corporate giants have dominated the sales to slow-moving bureaucracies. And they were cautious in discussing the opportunities that growing water scarcity, the impact of water pollution and the crumbling water infrastructure offer. There was little mention of the promise that advanced membrane materials and innovative designs such as advanced oxidation offer for water recycling and groundwater remediation. But the company panel took the opposite tack. Several companies highlighted their innovative technologies to create new sources of water, or addresses the threat of pollution from stormwater and optimising water infrastructure.  In a year, investors may not yet have reaped huge gains from investments in innovative water technologies, but the potential for new giants to grow rapidly and lead new market segments will be clear. Water, as simple as it is to drink, will be an obvious opportunity for investment.VNUNet.com_10/10/07

Royal Bank of Scotland sells UK's Southern Water for £4billion ($8.5 billion) to group led by JP Morgan

JP Morgan teamed up with an Australian infrastructure fund called Challenger and others to bid for the UK water firm that supplies Kent and Sussex. The bid is thought to have beaten one from Goldman Sachs. It will see the JP Morgan fund take a 32% stake in Southern Water, with Challenger Infrastructure paying for a 27% shareholding. The other investors in the consortium, called Greensands, include UBS, Hermes and seven Australian pension funds. Analysts say the deal is a sign of the growing interest in utility companies, particularly from pension funds and private equity firms, because of their steady cash flow. They are considered particularly attractive investments when uncertainty over economic growth is high. Southern Water is the seventh largest water and sewage company in England and Wales. It provides fresh water to more than two million people in the South East. BBC News_ 10/9/07

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan submit Southern Water bids: Sources

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and partners including Babcock & Brown Ltd. submitted final bids for Southern Water Plc, vying with a group led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., said people familiar with the proposals. The offers, each about 4 billion pounds ($8.1 billion), were due today, said those familiar with the proposals, who declined to be identified because the bidding is confidential. A winning proposal may be picked as soon as tomorrow and a final agreement may be reached next week, they said. Investment banks, buyout firms and pension funds are competing for assets such as water companies, toll roads and airports because they offer a steady flow of earnings. A group led by Macquarie Bank Ltd., Australia's biggest investment bank, bought Thames Water Utilities and its 8 million users last year for 4.8 billion pounds. Goldman, based in New York, along with funds managed by Babcock & Brown, Prudential Plc and Deutsche Bank AG's RREEF unit are part of one bidding group, those familiar with the bidding said. New York-based JPMorgan's asset management unit is bidding with an infrastructure fund managed by Australia's Challenger Financial Services Group and other Australian funds, they said. Macquarie is advising this partnership. Southern Water, which has about 2,000 workers, provides water to about 1 million households in Southeast England, according to its Web site. It also treats dirty and recycled water from 2 million homes, the site showed. Bloomberg_ 10/8/07

Aqua America Inc. subsidiaries close two acquisions totaling $130,000 in North Carolina and Pennsylvania

Aqua North Carolina, Inc. expanded its regional network by purchasing North Chatham Water and Sewer Company, LLC in Chatham County near Chapel Hill. Both the water and wastewater systems serve a population of approximately 375 people and include residential and commercial accounts. Aqua North Carolina currently provides water and wastewater service to about 250,000 people in 46 counties across the Tar Heel State. In addition, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. acquired the wastewater system serving the Newlin Greene residential development, which is home to nearly 150 people in Newlin Township, Chester County. The system will be operated by Little Washington Wastewater Company, a subsidiary of Aqua Pennsylvania. Aqua America is a publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company, with operating subsidiaries serving approximately 2.8 million people in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and South Carolina. News Release/Business Wire_ 10/8/07

Water from air could help with Australian water shortage: Manufacturer

Looking like a water cooler, the Skywater-300 uses a fan to draw in surrounding air and passes it across refrigerator coils to cool the water vapour it contains, turning it into liquid. It is then filtered through an electrostatic filter and ozone before being collected in a condensation chamber where it drips through to a tank, linked to a tap. The manufacturer, Island Sky Australia, said the machine's ability to keep the coils at a low temperature, without getting so cold that the surrounding air froze, made the device unique. Managing director Richard Groden said the technology was developed in the US, but the company had chosen Australia as its headquarters. The company, which owns numerous US and international patents for its air-to-water technology, is planning to list on the Australian Stock Exchange by the end of the month. But senior research fellow at the University of NSW's Centre for Water and Waste Technology, Greg Peters, compared the energy consumption of the machine to data from Sydney Water and found that, compared with tap water, it consumed 2000 times more energy. He also found its energy consumption was 100 times worse than that of a typical seawater desalination plant. Mr Groden said Dr Peters's calculations compared "apples and oranges". He said bottled water was a more relevant equivalent to the water vapour machine. "This is an alternative to bottled water. Bottled water is tremendously environmentally unfriendly." Sydney Morning-Herald_ 10/7/07

General Electric Energy sets up Asia commercial headquarters in Singapore; water purification and desalination included

The US conglomerate said such a move will allow for better service to its customers, and also expedite the decision-making process. According to GE, its Singapore energy team of 20 to 30 executives will be dealing with contracts totalling US$1 billion a year. GE has been expanding outside the US, spending US$15 billion acquiring other businesses in 2006. And it expects the bigger part of its revenue to come from its overseas businesses, starting this year. The US conglomerate plans to continue its acquisition drive, and is looking to tap into the growing demand for infrastructure in emerging economies. Nani Beccalli-Falco, president and CEO of GE International, said: "They need power generators; they need transportation, water purification, desalination and so on. And we're a company that provides these kinds of products."  ChannelNewsAsia_ 10/1/07

Three groups to fight for UK's Southern Water

Three groups of mostly-financial bidders are set to fight it out for Southern Water, the water company being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland for as much as 4 billion pounds ($7.98 billion), said people familiar with the matter. The three groups, which were selected after first-round offers were made at the end of August, will undertake due diligence on the company in coming weeks and are expected to table binding second-round bids on October 8, the people said. One group includes the infrastructure arm of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs , as well as Deutsche Bank investment fund RREEF, Australian infrastructure investor Babcock and Brown, the U.S.'s GE and British insurer Prudential 's M&G unit, the sources said on Tuesday. A second group includes investment bank Morgan Stanley, as well as Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE.L), which has power operations in the same geographical area and will take a small stake in the group if the bid succeeds, the people said. France's state-owned Caisse des Depots et Consignations, Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure and French insurer Axa are also in the Morgan Stanley group, some of the people said. The last shortlisted consortium is made up of investors being advised by Australia's Macquarie Bank , said the people, who declined to be named. Macquarie last year agreed to buy Thames Water, which supplies London, and, rather than bidding itself, is advising a group of investors it has put together because it would face significant regulatory hurdles buying Southern. Southern provides water and wastewater treatment in southern England counties including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It supplies about 1 million households with water and treats wastewater for about twice that number. Reuters/Interactive Investor_ 9/18/07

Sarkozy steps up pressure on Suez for GDF merger
Suez needs to give up its historic water business to allow a delayed merger with Gaz de France to go ahead, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday, in what could turn out to be a deal breaker.  A source close to Suez said there was no question of the private utility group selling off its water and waste management activities to salvage the 90-billion-euro ($122.5 billion) deal with the gas group.  This suggested the sides will not be able to resolve the differences over valuation that have delayed an 18-month old plan to build a European electricity and gas champion.  Suez shares rallied 3.8 percent to 40.40 euros as investors speculated the GDF deal would fall through, turning Suez again into a possible takeover target, according to traders. Reuters_8/30/07

The Ontario, Canada Teachers' Pension Plan completes purchase of interests in Chilean water utilities

The two water utilities, Empresa de Servicios Sanitarios del Bio-Bio S.A. (ESSBIO) and Aguas Nuevo Sur Maule, S.A. (ANSM), represent 20 per cent of regulated water and wastewater services in Chile. Teachers' has acquired 50.8 per cent of ESSBIO, which continues as a
publicly traded company, for C$356.5 million (US$340 million). It has also
acquired 100 per cent of Aguas Nuevo Sur Maule, S.A. (ANSM), a privately held
company, for an undisclosed amount. Stakes in both companies were purchased
from Southern Cross and other minor shareholders. In August, Teachers' signed a separate agreement to purchase up to 100 per cent of Esval S.A., Chile's third largest water and wastewater company. That transaction is expected to close by the end of November. ESSBIO is the second largest water and wastewater services company in Chile, delivering water and sanitation services to more than 610,000 customers. ANSM provides water and wastewater services to more than 195,000 customers. Together the companies represent approximately 20 per cent of the regulated water and wastewater market in Chile. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, with C$106 billion (US$101 billion) in net assets. An independent corporation, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of Ontario's 167,000 elementary and secondary school teachers and 104,000 retired teachers. News Release/CNW Group_ 8/27/07

American Water plans spinoff, IPO; What is the impact on Arizona?

Among Arizona water providers, American Water is dwarfed by Valley cities such as Phoenix and Scottsdale. But the company's planned spinoff from its German owner, and subsequent initial public offering, is further proof that investor-owned water utilities are increasing in clout and number, according to the American Water Works Association in Denver. It's unclear, however, if that trend will benefit Arizona consumers. American Water, known locally as Arizona American, caused a stir in April in Paradise Valley by raising rates by nearly $35 per month. In May, Anthem water users protested the company's proposal to increase their water bills by an average of $14 per month to cover the mounting cost of system operations. Arizona residents are more used to publicly owned water systems that can face taxpayer accountability. New Jersey-based American is the largest for-profit water-services provider in North America. It serves more than 18 million people across 29 states and Canada, including thousands in Arizona. The company, which declined to comment because of the pending IPO, plans to spin off from its German parent, RWE, by the end of the year. Arizona Republic_ 8/10/07 (logon required)

Bulgaria opens bid for water, wastewater and road improvement

Bulgaria's Regional Development Ministry on August 8 opened the bidding on 22 lots of EU-funded road and water infrastructure projects.  The projects are worth a total 21.6 million euro, according to wire agency SeeNews.  The EU will provide 16.2 million euro for the projects, which are aimed to improve infrastructure in towns with potential for tourism, the ministry said. The projects will include repairing water supply networks and linking waste waters with treatment plants.  Sofia Echo_8/9/07

Global Water Technologies announces new corporate headquarters

Global Water Technologies, Inc., ("GWT") a technology driven water purification and services provider to the $400 billion water industry, announced that it has moved into a new corporate headquarters located in Westminster, Colorado.  Global Water Technologies, Inc.  describes itself as a "CleanTech" water treatment and services company with technologies focused on the energy, power, oil and gas, process, HVAC and municipal markets. Through its subsidiaries, Electric H2O, Inc. and Watergy Produced Water Solutions, Inc., the company's products treat more than 10 billion gallons of water per day.  CNN_7/25/07

Abt Associates to provide economic, environmental and regulatory evaluation support to the EPA's Office of Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Cambridge, Mass.-based Abt Associates a $27.1 million, six-year Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) to provide technical support to the Office of Water (OW), which is part of the agency's Engineering and Analysis Division. Under this contract, staff of Abt Associates' Environment and Resources Division, as well as subcontractors and consultants directed by the company, will provide economic and technical services in support of the Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELGs) and other programs enabled by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The contract will also support other important EPA initiatives — including the water-quality trading program, which is a market-based, watershed-level approach — for improving and maintaining the quality of the nation's waters. Key services to be provided by Abt Associates under the contract include: analysis of the costs to the regulated community and to society of CWA regulations; assessment of the impact of regulatory requirements on industry performance, structure, employment, and involvement in international trade; assessment of the human health and environmental effects of water quality improvements; and estimation of the monetary value of these effects. News Release_ 7/23/07

Mitsui & Co. acquries Thai water company in $121M deal
Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. has acquired Thai water-supply company Pathum Thani Water Co. in a deal worth 15 billion yen ($121 million), the Nikkei daily reported Friday. Under the terms of the deal Mitsui will reportedly acquire 98% of the Pathum Thani stock for about 15 billion yen in cash and loan guarantees. The acquisition was made through Thai Tap Water Supply Co., a water purification company in which Mitsui holds a 35% stake, the report said. Pathum Thani Water provides 290,000 tons of clean water a day to northern Bangkok, the Thai capital. The deal cost around 15 billion yen, of which Mitsui is putting up around one-third in the form of loan guarantees on funds TTW borrows.   Marketwatch.com_7/6/07

United Utilities fined 8.5 mln stg by UK water regulator
UK water regulator Ofwat confirmed a 8.5 mln stg fine for United Utilities PLC for breaching rules governing trading arrangements with associate companies between October 2005 and March 2007.  'This fine of 8.5 mln stg sends a strong message to United Utilities Water and the rest of the water industry that they must comply with their licence conditions,' said Ofwat chief executive Regina Finn.  During 2005/06, United Utilities Water breached its licence conditions by failing to establish prices by market testing for eight trading arrangements with associate companies. Seven of these arrangements continued in 2006-07.  The breaches relate to United Utilities Water's trading arrangements with Vertex Data Science, United Utilities Facilities Management, United Utilities Property Solutions, United Utilities Networks and Your Communications. Forbes.com 6/22/07

Private firms seek to end public water monopoly in Scotland
A price war over water charges is set to break out in Scotland after two private-sector companies drew up plans to supply around 130,000 non-household premises north of the border.  Scottish and Southern Energy and Reading-based company, Satec are to challenge the current monopoly held by Scottish Water to supply water to places such as schools, hospitals and all business premises. More companies are expected to follow suit and bid for a part of the lucrative water market which is open to competition from next April.  The Herald_6/6/07

Coca-Cola to spend $20 million on water conservation
Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft drink maker, said Tuesday that it would invest $20 million over five years to improve global water conservation. The plan is part of the company's effort to adapt to global warming and to address a crucial constraint to growth in emerging markets.  The company, which gave $80 million to charitable foundations last year, will set measurable targets for improving its efficiency of water use and to ensure that by 2010 all its wastewater is clean enough to support aquatic life.  "Our pledge is to replace every drop," said E. Neville Isdell, the company's chief executive. "Addressing water issues is one of the most urgent climate-adaptation priorities."  About 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, many in emerging markets that are the beverage maker's fastest growing outlets. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population will face water shortages, according to World Wildlife Fund, Coca-Cola's partner in the program.  International Herald Tribune_6/6/07

Royal Bank of Scotland puts Southern Water up for sale for £4 billion

Southern Water supplies customers in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. The disposal is expected to kickstart a rush of consolidation in the water sector. Share prices of some of Britain's largest water companies have been buoyed by takeover speculation in recent weeks. Royal Bank of Scotland's private equity arm is understood to have appointed Deutsche Bank last week to advise on strategic options, including a possible sale. Southern Water employs about 2,000 staff and has assets valued at £2.9 billion. The bank bought the company around four years ago. Under a complex ownership structure, the bank owns nearly 50 per cent but controls more than 90 per cent of its economic interest. The other two large shareholders are Perry Capital and DE Shaw, the US hedge funds. A recent survey by KPMG found that nearly two thirds of senior executives in the utilities industry were contemplating merger activity. Sunday Telegraph_6/3/07

Severn Trent Services to supply TETRA® Denite® Denitrification Filters for Queensland, Australia Advanced Water Treatment Plant

The Queensland Government's Western Corridor Recycled Water (WCRW) Project is the largest recycled water scheme of its kind to be constructed in Australia. When completed at the end of 2008, it will also be the largest in the southern hemisphere. The project involves the advanced treatment and recycling of almost all the wastewater from six existing treatment plants in Queensland's capital city of Brisbane and the neighboring city of Ipswich, via three new advanced water treatment plants. A 200km long underground pipeline will be constructed to deliver the purified recycled water to the region's power generators, industry and the major potable water supply system. The Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant is the first of the new facilities to be built. The project management team is led by a Thiess/Black & Veatch Joint Venture. The WCRW Project aims to alleviate pressure on the region's existing dams and waterways, now experiencing record low levels caused by the worst drought in a century. News Release_ 6/1/07

May, 2007

UK water sector set to surge higher as takeover talk gathers strength

Water companies listed on the stock market look set to test record highs in the coming weeks, amid mounting talk that there will be no British-listed operators left by the end of next year. Shares in publicly listed groups have surged substantially higher over the past year and they have taken off again in recent weeks on speculation that infrastructure or private equity funds will launch a takeover attempt on one or all of the companies. Kelda, the Yorkshire Water owner, is commonly cited as a possible target, along with Severn Trent and United Utilities, which also has an energy arm. Pennon, which owns South West Water, and Northumbrian Water, which owns Essex and Suffolk Water, are also seen as prime candidates for a deal. The Times_ 5/29/07

England gets first new water firm since privatisation 18 years ago; Scottish & Southern Energy creates new water and sewerage company

The Perth-based utility's recently formed subsidiary - Scottish & Southern Energy Water (SSEW) - will supply water and sewerage services to a 935-home development near the Wiltshire city of Salisbury. As part of SSE's new "multi-utility" strategy, it will also deliver gas and electricity to residents. SSEW will tap into Wessex Water's supply, the current provider in the area. SSEW will have responsibility for the pipes taking the water to the residential development. SSE announced its planned entry into water supply at its interim results last November. It described the Wiltshire development as "dipping its toe in the water" to see what it can achieve in this sector. It has also applied for a licence in south-west London. The Scotsman_ 5/19/07

New, $1.3B underground water plant for NYC
Skanska has landed its largest order in the U.S. to date. The contract is for the Croton Water Filtration Plant in New York. The total contract amount is USD 1.3 billion, of which Skanska has 80 percent, corresponding to USD 1.04 billion. Skanska’s share of the order amount is being included in order bookings for the second quarter.  The customer is the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).  The Croton Water Filtration Plant is one the facilities that supplies the City of New York with all drinking water. The plant, with a capacity to treat 1.2 million cubic meters of water per day (320 MGD), is located at the Mosholu golf course in the Bronx.  Skanska’s assignment includes both the construction and installation work. Most of the plant is constructed in concrete covering a footprint area of 35,000 square meters. The plant is being built on four levels underground. Skanska is responsible for the concrete work, but not excavation. Some 200,000 cubic meters of concrete and 27,000 tons of reinforcing steel are expected to be used.  Skanska’s project includes installation of machinery and piping as well as control equipment. The project is a turnkey delivery and Skanska will also be responsible for start-up and commissioning but not for meeting projected design criteria of the treated water.  The project is being carried out in a joint venture with Tully Construction, which has the remaining 20 percent of the contract amount.  The project starts later this summer. Construction work is scheduled to be completed in 50 months and the start-up phase is expected to take an additional six months.  Waterand wastewater.com_5/16/07

Chile Southern Cross sells water utilities to Canadian fund

Chilean investment fund Southern Cross has reached a deal with a Canadian pension fund to sell its shares in two domestic water utilities, the two sides said Tuesday. "All transactions are expected to close within the next three months," they added. The Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan agreed to buy the 50.1% owned by Southern Cross in Empresa de Servicios Sanitarios del Bio-Bio SA (ESSBIO-A.SN) as well as 100% in Aguas Nuevo Sur Maule SA, two water utilities in south-central Chile. They didn't disclose terms for the Aguas Nuevo Sur transactio. Dow Jones_ 5/15/07

Basin Water buys two So. Cal. companies
Over the next 20 years, it's projected that the population of Southern California will balloon by 10 million people. And all those sun-worshipping, earthquake-defying West Coasters will need plenty of fresh water to drink, a demand that Basin Water hopes to help satisfy.  The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based company, a maker of groundwater treatment systems, told investors Wednesday that it has agreed to purchase controlling stakes in two water-transport companies, the West Riverside Canal Company and the 350 Inch Water Company.  "This acquisition goes hand in hand with Basin Water's commitment to providing reliable, long-term sources of water and allows the company to have a direct interest in the ownership of water resources in a region chronically short of water," said CEO Peter Jensen.  Forbes_5/9/07

$300 million Malaysian clean-water contract goes to YTL group

YTL, the owner of Wessex Water, won a $300 million government contract to clean up Malaysia's polluted rivers, a first step in a bid to expand its water-treatment business throughout Asia. YTL wants to use the technology of Wessex to tap demand for quality water in Asia, where one-fifth of the population does not have access to safe water, according to the Asian Development Bank. Malaysia is spending 8.2 billion ringgit, or $2.4 billion, from 2006 to 2010 to improve the water supply, double the outlay of the previous period. Malaysia has 150 river systems with a combined length of 38,000 kilometers, or 23,560 miles, according to the Malaysian Department of Irrigation and Drainage Web site. Of the 116 rivers monitored, 42 are rated clean, 61 slightly polluted and 13 polluted, the department said. YTL is based in Kuala Lumpur and controlled by the Yeoh Tiong Lay family. Wessex Water, which YTL acquired in 2002 for $1.77 billion from Enron, will implement the Malaysia project, which will be completed in three phases, with the first part worth $100 million and focusing on the 7-kilometer, or 4.4-mile, Klang River. Bloomberg/International Herald Tribune_ 5/7/07

Aqua America Inc. subsidiaries acquire water and wastewater systems in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania for a total of $540,000

The announcement comes on the heels of yesterday's closing of Aqua America's acquisition of the Aquarion Water Company of Sea Cliff, which serves approximately 13,000 residents on Long Island, New York. "With the latest transactions, we continue to expand Aqua's footprint in the nation's high-growth areas where we will efficiently integrate these water and wastewater systems into our expanding operations," said Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. The company's Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc. subsidiary owns more than 100 water and wastewater operations in 19 counties across the state. The North Carolina acquisition means the company now serves residents in 50 counties across the Tar Heel State. Aqua America, Inc. is a publicly traded water utility holding company, with operating subsidiaries serving approximately 2.8 million residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and South Carolina. News Release_ 5/1/07

April, 2007

Florida's Tampa Bay Water selects Veolia Water to manage a $158.4 million design-build-operate surface water treatment plant

The Veolia Water North America - South LLC (Veolia Water) project will nearly double capacity at the Tampa Bay Water Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant from 72 million-gallons-per-day (MGD) to 120 MGD. Veolia Water designed, built and now operates what will be the regional water authority's largest treatment facility and among the world's most technologically sophisticated, having led a team of companies first selected in 2000. The contract amendment amounting to $158.4 million over its term was unanimously approved by Tampa Bay Water's board of directors, making the Brandon, Fla., treatment facility the nation's largest DBO project, sharing the honor with Seattle Public Utilities' 120-MGD Tolt Treatment Facility. The project also reunites Veolia Water with Camp Dresser & McKee, the project's design engineer of record. Tampa Bay Water provides wholesale water to the public utility systems of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties as well as the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. Veolia Water North America - South, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Veolia Water North America, providing services to more than 14 million people in approximately 600 communities. The company is part of Veolia Water, the No. 1 water company in the world, serving more than 108 million customers. Veolia Water is the water division of Veolia Environnement. News Release/Stockhouse_ 4/30/07

EnCana Oil and Gas USA faces unusual problem in Colorado, too much water forces shutdown of 24 coal bed methane wells

Normally, the problem is getting enough water into the ground to get the gas out. The wells are producing between 300 and 3,000 barrels daily, compared with normal water production of up to 15 barrels. Treating the water has failed, as has evaporating it. The mineral- and saline-laden water is too dirty. Daily Sentinel/AP/Summit Daily News_ 4/15/07

Bubbly Water Stocks
Until recently, few were aware of the large and growing worldwide shortage of clean, fresh water. Even in the U.S., water infrastructure is crumbling and will soon require a major overhaul. Awareness of the problem is growing, however, and investing in water stocks (called "blue gold" by some) is now a hot topic among investors of all stripes.  The problem is bound to be exacerbated by global warming, as declining soil moisture levels lead to a depletion of fresh water tables worldwide. Therefore, potential government solutions notwithstanding, investing in water stock appears to be a wise long-term move.  Forbes_4/4/07

March, 2007

Coca-Cola investing in water partnership in Africa
The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, and the U.S. Agency for International Development are spending $7 million (€5.3 million) to address water scarcity issues in Africa.  The initiative, to be formally announced Thursday, will be focused on Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana/Ivory Coast.  Since 2005, USAID and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola have supported water partnership activities in Bolivia, Mali, Indonesia, Malawi, Egypt, Thailand, Uganda and South Africa. Coca-Cola said that while water is a key ingredient in all of its beverages, it realizes that it is a shared resource that it must protect and preserve in the communities where it operates.  In the past, Coca-Cola has been accused of draining the water supply in some areas where it operates, particularly in India. International Herald Tribune_3/21/07

UNICEF taps New York City restaurants to aid world water problems
Over 200 New York restaurants are participating in the Tap Project on World Water Day to help fund UNICEF water and sanitation projects worldwide.  The Tap Project, taking place in New York City on World Water Day, March 22, is an innovative fundraising programme that will ask every diner in many of the city’s finest restaurants to pay $1 for the tap water they usually get for free. The funds will go to UNICEF to help save lives by providing safe drinking water access to children around the world.  Press Release_3/21/07

Water treatment technologies are hot, but venture capital investment is cold

In cleantech, analysts and venture capitalists have been calling water-treatment technologies the “Next Big Thing” for months. Ira Ehrenpreis, a general partner with Technology Partners, two years ago predicted that water would become “the oil of the 21st century” . But venture-capital investment has so far been more a trickle than a flood and the amount invested in water technologies actually declined last year compared with 2005. Despite huge opportunities, would-be investors have been discouraged by a dearth of disruptive water technology startups, economic constraints, and the likelihood that significant returns on investment are many years in the future. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. A Progressive Investor report titled “Investing in Water” released Monday estimated the world market for water-related businesses at roughly $400 billion. And even that amount is not enough to save the 1.6 million people that the World Health Organization estimates die every year from drinking contaminated water. The outlook is more alarming, as demand for water rapidly outstrips dwindling supplies. The United Nations has identified 300 water-conflict zones around the world. Red Herring_ 3/18/07

Starbucks Foundation awards US $2Million to benefit clean water programs worldwide

To commemorate World Water Day and raise awareness for the more than 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water, Starbucks Coffee Company today announced two US$1 million grants that will each benefit water programs in India and Kenya.  For each bottle of Ethos(TM) water purchased in Starbucks U.S. Company-operated stores, US$0.05 is contributed to the Ethos Water Fund at the Starbucks Foundation. These funds support Starbucks goals of contributing at least US$10 million by 2010 to nonprofit organizations that are helping to alleviate the world water crisis.  "By purchasing Ethos(TM) water, customers have been part of this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and their communities around the world who need access to clean water," said Jim Donald, Starbucks president and ceo. "Starbucks hopes to help raise awareness and be a significant collaborator in support of solutions to help alleviate the world water crisis."  CSRWire_3/16/07

GE Announces World Water Tour

GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company today announced its upcoming World Water Tour, a series of seminars, which will bring water industry experts and industrial water users together to discuss best practices and solutions capable of meeting industry’s growing need to minimize operational costs, create sustainable supplies of quality water, decrease energy consumption and meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements. The 14-city tour will focus on best practices proven in balancing the competitive business and environmental demands that often face industrial water users, especially those located in regions confronting water quality and scarcity challenges.  Currently, industries consume as much as 22% of the world’s water. In developed countries, industrial water use is as high as 59% -- and rising. For industrial water users in areas that lack access to adequate supplies of quality water, and often infrastructure too, creating a sustainable and dependable source of water can offer security, independence and increased opportunity for growth. The tour will start in Las Vegas, NV in May and continue through the US, Mexico and Canada through June.  Other counries included in the tour are Chile, Austalia, Spain, India, China and Dubai. Press Release_3/15/07

Nestlé SA publishes water management report

Nestlé has produced a review of the company's thinking and initiatives on the sustainable use and protection of water resources worldwide.  The Nestlé Water Management Report

(Click Here for full report) focuses on the four areas that the company believes will make a significant improvement to its water management: exercising direct control over its manufacturing operations, educating stakeholders, encouraging farmers to promote good water management, and sharing Nestlé's expertise in the global water management arena.  Examples of measures undertaken include a 29 per cent reduction in the amount of water used in all operations over the past decade, even though production volume has almost doubled over that period, training more than 400,000 teachers in over 20 countries on awareness, appreciation, knowledge and stewardship of water resources in partnership with the Water Education for Teachers organization, engagement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other bodies to improve the state of water management.  The report has been prepared with the help of international specialists, among them Professor Ismail Serageldin, founding chair of the Global Water Partnership and founding governor of the World Water Council. A stakeholder engagement exercise was also undertaken with AccountAbility International. CSRwire_3/15/07

February, 2007

Aqua America to acquire Aquarian Water Company of Sea Cliff Inc. in New York

On the heels of its January announcement of the closing of its New York Water Service Company acquisition which serves 135,000 residents in Long Island, Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) today announced that its New York subsidiary, Aqua New York, Inc., has reached an agreement with Kelda Group, Inc. to acquire the nearby Aquarion Water Company of Sea Cliff, Inc. (Sea Cliff), also on Long Island. Aqua America will pay $7.3 million, subject to a target working capital adjustment, and assume no debt in the transaction. Sea Cliff provides drinking water to approximately 13,000 residents in the villages of Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing and Glen Head in Nassau County, New York just north of its New York Water operation. The agreement is subject to approval by the New York Public Service Commission. DeBenedictis said the company plans to close the transaction this year. Aqua America, Inc. is a publicly-traded water utility holding company, with operating subsidiaries serving approximately 2.8 million residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and South Carolina. News Release_ 2/12/07

CNET Q&A with Jeff Fulgham, chief marketing officer for GE's Water and Process Technologies

There's no getting around it: the world faces a big water problem. Fulgham discussed GE's water technology and shared his views on how future communities will be organized to help solve the problem. CNET_ 2/9/07

Spain's VALORIZA announces strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi's ADGECO Group to design, build and run desalination, sewage treatment and power plants

VALORIZA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sacyr Vallehermoso, one Spain’s largest publicly traded construction and engineering conglomerates. The scope of activities will also include a special emphasis on alternative energy projects, incorporating wind, solar and renewable energy technologies. Sacyr Vallehermoso, VALORIZA’s parent, has an annual turnover in excess of US$5.5 billion, and a stock market value approaching US$18 billion. Plants constructed and/or owned by the company serve the needs of over 2.6 million customers each day. The ADGECO Group is one of Abu Dhabi’s most prominent holding companies active in the construction, project management and real estate development sectors. News Release_ 2/7/07

GE confirms stake in France-based water purfier

US-based GE Energy Financial Services confirmed it would take a majority interest in Idex Aquaservices, a France-based supplier of purified water to the food, beverage and cosmetics industries.  The company is acquiring a 95 percent stake in Idex Aquaservices, including debt obligations, according to a GE press release. The sum was not disclosed.  Water is a key processing medium in food manufacturing plants, used for cooling, washing, heating, cooking, sanitising, transport and clean up.  Kevin McCarthy, a managing director at GE Energy Financial Services, said the company its plans to use its financial clout to boost Idex Aquaservices' reach. It is the first move by GE to invest in the European water market.   Idex Aquaservices is the Boulogne-based subsidiary of Idex Groupe -- one of France's largest private energy and environmental services companies. The subsidiary owns and operates contracted, integrated groundwater extraction and treatment plants for the dairy, meat, poultry, soft drinks, food processing, canned food and cosmetics industries.  Foodproductiondaily.com_2/7/07

Black & Veatch opens Asia-Pacific headquarters and Global Design Centre for water in Singapore

Mr S Iswaran, Minister of State for Trade and Industry officiated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In a videotaped message played at the ceremony, Mr Dan McCarthy, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's global water business, said the firm's five-year plans "include doubling the number of our professionals in Singapore, as well as investing in a Global Design Centre and establishing a Centre of Excellence for Desalination today." These new developments follow the announcements Black & Veatch made in December 2006, when it stated plans to make the Singapore office a key hub for its global water infrastructure business, including more than doubling the number of water professionals it employs in Singapore. News Release_ 2/7/07

American Water team to research automatic meter reading

American Water said Monday that a team it leads has been awarded a grant of more than $900,000 to research automatic meter reading in the water industry. The Voorhees, N.J., company, plus Cognyst Consulting LLC of Kinnelon, N.J., and Advantica Ltd. of Loughborough, England, received the grant from the AWWA Research Foundation of Denver and the UK Water Industry Research. AWWA's goal is to help utilities and public health agencies achieve clean and affordable drinking water for consumers. American Water is a subsidiary of RWE AG of Essen, Germany, which plans to spin it off in a public offering. The company is the largest provider of water and wastewater services in North America with 7,000 employees and $2.2 billion in revenue. It serves more than 17 million people in 29 states and Canada. Philadelphia Business Journal_ 2/5/07

January, 2007

French giant Veolia Water to reap hundreds of millions of dollars from Australia's southeast Queensland water crisis

In a little-publicised deal, Paris-based Veolia Water has been awarded lucrative contracts by the State Government to run the $1.7 billion western corridor recycled water pipeline and the $1.3 billion Gold Coast desalination plant. The commercialisation of two of the state's biggest drought infrastructure projects has heightened fears that water prices could skyrocket. Veolia, which turns over $42 billion a year, has revealed it expects to rake in at least $210 million from running the desalination plant over the next 10 years. The windfall will be even higher if the company is granted a proposed five-year contract extension. A spokesman for Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Anna Bligh said Veolia was a "major international water company" and had been chosen because of its expertise in large-scale water projects. Ms Bligh this month rejected a claim by Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Water Malcolm Turnbull that the Government planned to privatise the western corridor pipeline, which will take recycled wastewater from Brisbane to the Swanbank and Tarong power stations. But she admitted southeast Queenslanders faced "significant increases" in water prices to pay for the Government's $7 billion "drought-proofing" plan. Courier-Mail_ 1/30/07

Siemens Water Technologies acquires four US businesses; adds to its service business and product portfolio for disinfection and ultra-pure water solutions
 Siemens has taken over four companies: Envirotrol, CEC, Pure Water Solutions and Sunlight Systems with total sales of 25 million USD.  The aim of the acquisitions is to expand Siemens' service portfolio for activated carbon water treatment.  By acquiring Envirotrol, Inc, Darlington/PA and Clean Environmental Concepts (CEC), Vancouver/WA Siemens has strengthened its regional presence in the east and in the north-west of the United States.  The acquisition of Pure Water Solutions, Hubbard/OR, helps Siemens to expand its range of deionization (SDI) products and services in the north-west of the United States.  By acquiring Sunlight Systems, Allendale/NJ, Siemens is expanding its range of disinfection products and solutions.   Press Release_1/23/07

Ofwat condemned over Thames Water
Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Select Committee, excoriated the regulator today after a damning report by the National Audit Office.  He said Ofwat had been "lacklustre" and "especially passive" in its regulation of the firm, which loses 894 million litres of water a day - enough to fill 344 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  In a new report, the National Audit Office argues Ofwat's decision to force Thames to spend £150 million on new pipes last summer should have come far earlier given the company's "persistent failures".  Times Online_1/19/07

Emerson unit wins $5M contract for Canadian water plant
Emerson said its Process Management business received a $5.3 million contract from the Greater Vancouver Regional District to automate what will be Canada's largest drinking water filtration plant.  The Emerson business will install its PlantWeb digital automation architecture at the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant, now under construction. When completed in 2008, the plant will be the world's largest ultraviolet disinfection facility, as well as Canada's largest drinking water filtration plant, according to a release. Emerson's Power & Water Solutions division will supply software and engineering services.  St. Louis Business Journal_1/18/07

Veolia secures Oman water plant contract
Veolia said it has won a contract with its Omani partner, Suhail Bahwan Group, to build, own and operate a water desalination plant in Oman that will result in sales of 434 mln eur for Veolia Water over the contract's 22-year term.  The contract was awarded by the Omani government.  Construction of the plant will be done by Veolia and Bahwan Engineering Co at a cost of 111 mln eur.  Forbes_1/17/07

Dallas Water Utilities selects Itron’s Water Fixed Network 2.5 for advanced metering

Itron Inc. announced today that it has signed a contract with the Dallas Water Utilities to include meters, endpoints and installation of Itron’s advanced Water Fixed Network (WFN) 2.5 system. Dallas Water Utilities is located in Dallas, Texas and provides water service to approximately one million residents.  The utility will initially deploy approximately 7,000 meters and endpoints in the downtown corridor and commercial district and will evaluate the deployment of the remaining 300,000 meters after the initial installation based on performance and cost justification.   Itron describes its WFN as a comprehensive solution focused on providing more than just usage data for customer billing. The company says WFN provides water utilities with a tool to increase efficiency, reduce costs, deliver consistently accurate billing, manage customer growth without adding staff, enable leak detection and facilitate water conservation efforts.   Press Release_1/4/07

 

 

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