South America

Gonzales looks into feasibility of Beetham wastewater plant – South America

PUBLIC Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said his ministry is doing a feasibility study to determine whether the controversial, and now abandoned, Beetham Wastewater Reuse Plant (BWRP) can be made ope­rational.

In February, the National Gas Company (NGC) transferred the assets of BWRP to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).

But Gonzales says the utility still has to decide whether it’s feasible to finish.

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Aguas Antofagasta to expand desal capacity despite brine criticism – Chile

Chilean water utility Aguas Antofagasta plans to keep expanding its desalination capacity both in regional capital Antofagasta and the municipality of Tocopilla, despite criticism of the alleged environmental impact of brine discharges into the sea.

In December, the company received environmental approval for a US$115mn project to increase the capacity of its plant (in photo) in Antofagasta city to over 1,600l/s, and expects to have the expansion ready by late 2023 or early 2024, the firm’s operations manager Cristián Jiménez told BNamericas at the Desalination Latin America congress held by Vostock Capital.

He said the expansion will be Aguas Antofagasta’s largest project for the next three years.

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Chile desalination projects advance despite regulatory uncertainty – Chile

“We will see how this evolves over the next weeks or months, but there’s no doubt that we will have a new regulatory framework.

And that is making some short-term investors to await these results to see which road to take,” Carlos Foxley, chairman of Chilean desalination association Acades, told BNamericas. He said two regulatory pushes are happening in parallel.

One in the constitutional convention, which drafts a new constitution, is focused on overall water management, while the second push comes from the senate and concerns a desalination bill submitted by the previous administration.

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Solution & Environmental Challenge for Chile – Chile

The Pacific Ocean could quench the thirst caused by 10 years of drought in Chile, but the operation of desalination plants of various sizes has a long way to go to become sustainable and to serve society as a whole rather than just corporations.

Some twenty of these plants are already in operation providing desalinated water to small fishing communities, another three to the inhabitants of various municipalities and eight more to large mining companies, all but one of which are concentrated in Chile’s arid North.

The extensive development and availability of solar and wind energy has lowered the operating cost of desalinating and purifying seawater, which offers hope for a stable supply of water in this Southern Cone country with 4,270 kilometers of coastline.

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Total Eren kicks off Chile green hydrogen study – Chile

Total Eren has begun studies for the development of a large-scale green hydrogen project in Chile, with a target of 25GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

H2 Magallanes will be supplied by renewable electricity from up to 10GW of wind capacity to be located near the borough of San Gregorio, in the Magallanes region of southern Chile.

The project ties in with Chile’s ambition to feature among global leaders in the production of green hydrogen via electrolysis.

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Chile desalination bill stalls in senate – Chile

Senate discussion on a desalination bill has stalled until Chile’s executive submits an observations report to the water resources committee.

Desalination is seen as one solution to alleviate the severe drought affecting the country.

Discussion on the bill began in congress in 2018. 

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Temporary shutdown of desal plant – Trinidad and Tobago

Thousands of people in Central and South-West Trinidad will be without water this weekend after the WASA announced a temporary shutdown of the desalination plant in Point Lisas yesterday.

The disruption in the supply of pipe-borne water is as a result of emergency repairs to a 42-inch diameter raw water pipeline at the plant, WASA said in a statement.

WASA normally receives a daily supply of 40 million gallons of water from the plant, it noted.

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Shutdown at Point Lisas Desalination Plant – South America

The Water and Sewerage Authority advises customers in parts of Central and South-West Trinidad, who are presently experiencing low water pressures or no water that, this is as a result of the shutdown of the Point Lisas Desalination Plant, due to what has been described as raw water quality issues.

However, a time for restarting the plant has not been given. As such, a limited truck-borne water service will be available with priority given to special homes, health care and government institutions.

The WASA advisory explains the Desalination Company of Trinidad and Tobago (DESALCOTT) owned and operated Plant, normally supplies WASA with 40 million gallons of water per day (mgd).

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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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Fog-Catching Towers Could Supply Water to the World’s Driest Megacity Using The Ocean Air – Peru

How can a megacity find water for 10 million people if it exists in the desert? Fog-catching nets, erected on hills over the city of Lima could solve the city’s water shortages for good.

A twenty-meter high (60 feet) tower of spiraling nets will be unveiled this summer in the city as a solution to the threat which a warming climate poses to the shaky foundations of water availability in Lima.

Aside from glacial runoff from the Andes, and water from the stressed Rímac River, Peru’s capital city accumulates just one inch of rain a year. The city sees high annual temperatures, and water consumption rates, despite being located in a desert, are higher than world averages.

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