AFTER 100 DAYS of combat, the water and sewage system in an eastern Mosul neighborhood collapsed. Last week, two men decided to fix the despairing situation. Haitham Younis Wahab and his neighbor, Shamsuldeen Ahmed Saed, pulled out the sledgehammers, steel pipes, and shovels and started digging. Several days and 26 feet later, the men hit water.
All across the Rashidiya neighborhood, other residents have also dug fresh wells to retrieve water. But most have only been able to use this water for washing and cleaning. For potable water, residents have resorted to buying bottled water carried in from more secure areas of eastern Mosul (where fruit, vegetables, and other food are more readily accessible).
IN SRI LANKA, Veolia has won a $164 million contract to design and build a water treatment and conveyance network. The system will supply drinking water to 350,000 people in the agricultural, Greater Matale region of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan National Water Supply and Drainage Board has appointed two Veolia subsidiaries to implement the project: OTV will project manage the construction of five new water treatment plants, 12 service reservoirs, five pumping stations, and 433 kilometres of transmission and distribution pipeline. And SADE will serve as the subcontractor, to design and build the pipeline. A financial scheme set up by the French government has enabled the project to proceed.
THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT has asked for expressions of interest from state and territory governments that are interested in funding for water projects (worth USD $154 million). Between 2017 and 2018, the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will provide financial support for projects that will create or augment existing water infrastructure, including dams, pipelines, and aquifers. The overall fund consists of AUD $400 million which is designated for capital projects; and another AUD $59.5 million for feasibility studies. There are two rounds of deadlines for applications: 16 March and 17 August 2017.
Sydney and its surroudings Credit: Desalination.biz
FOR THE FIRST TIME in seventeen years—the cost of domestic water in Singapore will increase. Singapore’s Finance Minister, Heng Sweet Keat, has announced that costs will increase by 30 percent over the next two years. Minister Keat stated that the higher cost reflects unsustainable government expenses incurred from desalination and water reuse. The increase will amount to $6-11 additional per month.
THE MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY Conference of 2017 has issued several industry awards. It has also recognized individuals for their pioneering work in membrane technology. This year’s “Hall of Fame line-up” consisted of William Andrews, Charlie Hull, Srinivasa Sourirajan, and Mike Stefanic.
In 2002, after a long career in the water industry, William Andrews invented the Dual Work Exchanger Energy Recover Decive, which remains “one of the world’s most energy efficient recovery devices for seawater desalination.” Charlie Hull and Srinivasa Sourirajan were each recognized for their work designing membrane facilities. And Mike Stefanic was honoured for his work “as one of the first engineers to recommend and install an RO system at an IBM semiconductor facility in New York.” A defining contribution of his career has been his ability to extend the reach of RO technology throughout the semiconductor industry, “making it indispensable to operations.”
 David Zucchino and Ben Solomon, “Stuck Without Water in Mosul, Neighbors Find a Way,” New York Times, February 16, 2017, <https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/world/middleeast/stuck-without-water-in-mosul-neighbors-find-a-way.html> accessed February 16, 2017.
 “Veolia to Build Drinking Water Network in Sri Lanka,” Desalination.biz, February 22, 2017, <https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/Veolia-to-build-drinking-water-network-in-Sri-Lanka/8672/> accessed February 23, 2017.
 “Australia Steps up Investment in Water Projects,” Desalination.biz, February 22, 2017, <https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/Singapore-to-raise-water-rates-by-30-per-cent/8675/> accessed February 23, 2017.
 “Australia Steps up Investment in Water Projects,” Desalination.biz, February 22, 2017, <https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/Australia-steps-up-investment-in-water-projects/8674/> accessed February 23, 2017
 “AMTA’s Hall of Fame Honours Industry Pioneers,” Desalination.biz, February 22, 2017, <https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/AMTAs-Hall-of-Fame-honours-industry-pioneers/8671/> February 23, 2017.