America

After Five Weeks Without Water, Comcaac Community In Sonora Seeks Urgent Help – Mexico

Members of an Indigenous community in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, say they are experiencing a critical water shortage after weeks without reliable access.

Water scarcity is a long-standing and constant issue in Punta Chueca — one of two Comcaac towns on the Sea of Cortez. But the community has now gone five weeks without water from the town’s failing desalination plant.

Water trucks sent by the government or paid for by the community are insufficient and some families lack large drums needed to store water between deliveries, leaving many without water for drinking, bathing and cleaning.

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American Water (AWK) to Invest in Water System in Pennsylvania – United States

American Water Works AWK announced that its unit, Pennsylvania American Water, is going to invest $2 million to install 2 miles of new water main in Washington County to ensure high-quality water services for customers and increase water flow for firefighting.

In addition to replacing miles of water mains that are aging, the investment is also essential to install new mains to efficiently meet the rising demand for potable water from its customers.

Pennsylvania American Water has been investing on a regular basis to upgrade its existing water and wastewater infrastructure as well as expand operations through strategic acquisitions. This company is efficiently providing water and wastewater services to nearly 2.4 million people.

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Chilean debate on desalination regulation takes shape – Chile

Chilean lawmakers are debating how to regulate the increasing number of desalination plants in the country, noting that there are no frameworks for their environmental assessment, use of maritime concessions and their position within the country’s overall water strategy.

A motion currently being reviewed by the senate’s water resources committee would declare desalinated water an asset for public use, prioritize it for human consumption, set requirements to request maritime concessions and establish a national strategy for the sector that would create incentives for technological innovation and development.

During the legislative discussion, senator Isabel Allende said that the bill could be improved, but that “we’re heading down the right path,” as it would create regulations “that don’t currently exist, which is the worst-case scenario.”

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Reclamation awards $3.6 million to improve desalination technologies – United States

The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $3.6 million to 10 projects for advanced water treatment research and development.

The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program funding seeks to improve technologies for water supply development from nontraditional waters, including seawater, brackish groundwater, and municipal wastewater.

“Interest in desalination as a water source is growing in the United States,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “Improving technologies to treat water will make the advanced treatment of water more affordable for communities throughout the country and increase water supplies for the nation.”

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Mexico modifies 2 PPP water contracts for Baja California Sur – Mexico

Mexico’s Baja California Sur state has modified the tender calendars for two public-private partnership contracts, worth an estimated 5.2bn pesos (US$252mn), that will be awarded this year.

The projects concern the 3.9bn-peso, Los Cabos desalination plant and the 1.3bn-peso integral improvement of Cabo San Lucas city’s water distribution system. 

The contracts for both projects were expected to be awarded on March 17 and 18, respectively, but a notification on procurement site Compranet late last week said the dates were changed.

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Chile’s Minister of Mines and Energy prepares for new cycle of expansion – Chile

As copper prices hit their highest level in almost a decade, Chile’s mining industry is preparing for a new cycle of expansion.

“We hope that if the price cycle remains high, which is what most analysts expect, that this accelerates the development of new mine projects,” Chile’s Mines and Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet said in an interview with The Northern Miner.

The government has identified mining projects worth US$74 billion in development, of which almost a third are already in construction. They include Teck’s (TSX: TECK.A/TECK.B; NYSE: TCK) US$4.5 billion Quebrada Blanca project, an expansion of Antofagasta plc‘s (LSE: ANTO) Los Pelambres mine and Codelco’s massive program to overhaul its aging mine operations.

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Opinion: A Desalination Skeptic Now Sees Carlsbad Plant’s ‘Undeniable Value’ – California

It is no secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant when it was proposed, and I still wasn’t completely on board when the plant began operations in 2015, or even when I was elected to the Carlsbad City Council in 2016.

But time has given me perspective, and I recognize now that the value that the Carlsbad Desalination Plant provides our region is undeniable.

We are now celebrating the plant’s fifth anniversary since operations began. In that time, I’ve seen firsthand how the Carlsbad Desalination Plant benefits our city and the entire San Diego region, given it has produced more than 65 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water. To put that in perspective, that is enough water to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena all the way to its brim nearly 200 times!

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Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres expansion to cost extra $400m – Chile

Chilean miner Antofagasta revealed on Wednesday that the expansion project at its Los Pelambres operation in the home country would cost $1.7 billion, up from the original $1.3 billion, due mainly to revised marine works and value of a desalination plant extension.

Construction of the project resumed in August, after a four-month halt triggered by the covid-19 pandemic.

A detailed review of the schedule and costs, including those associated with the realized and ongoing restrictions linked to the global pandemic followed. The assessment also considered changes to the marine works to enable an expansion of the desalination plant.

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Governor’s talk on environment falls short when it comes to the Poseidon project – California

Orange County sees past Poseidon’s efforts to buy support for its desalination boondoggle. Why can’t Gov. Newsom?

Poseidon Water, a large water development company, has been pushing to build a $1.4-billion water desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Like Poseidon’s underperforming, high-cost plant in Carlsbad, the plant and its inflated water would be paid for by ratepayers.

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$15 million credit line will help Antioch build desalination plant – California

Antioch’s plan to build a desalination plant to clear up the city’s brackish water got another boost this week when the City Council unanimously approved $15 million in interim financing.

The almost $70 million project aims to develop a reliable, drought-resistant water supply so the city doesn’t have to depend so much on buying water and can use Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water year-round.

Antioch’s current water supply, which mainly comes from the river, serves more than 112,000 residents within a 28.8-square-mile area.

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