SUEZ AND CANADA’S CDPQ will buy GE Water & Process Technologies for $3.37 billion (USD) in cash. Suez will purchase 70 percent of the business, and the Canadian company, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, will purchase the remaining 30 percent. Suez chief executive, Jean-Louis Chaussade, has stated that the acquisition of GE Water abides by the company’s strategy to strengthen its position in the industrial water market.
The recently collapsed Azure Window of Gozo, Malta Credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi via the IBTimes
IN MALTA, the desalination plant in Hondoq ir-Rummien may soon be reactivated. Located in the island of Gozo, along the Mediterranean, the facility is capable of producing 5,000 cubic metres of water per day. Malta’s Environment and Resources Authority (MEPA) has stated that the plant may adversely impact its surroundings—a 3,300 square-mile protected Natura 2000 site. These sites form a network of protected areas across the European Union, and it is the responsibility of host states to protect these natural habitats and their animal populations. MEPA will accordingly assess the environmental impact of the project after the Water Services Corporation provides it with additional information.
Bangaluru, the capital city of Karnataka State Credit: Desalination.biz
IN SOUTHWEST INDIA, Karnataka State has proposed to build four new desalination plants with IDE Technology India, and Vagas, an Indian firm. This venture would form part of a project to build a new city, called Kolar Gold Fields. The proposed desalination programme consists of a $380 million plant at Mangaluru; a $110 million plant at Udupi; a $23 million plant at Kundapura; and a $12 million plant at Saligrama.
State officials plan to build the new city on land that belongs to Bharat Gold Mines, in order to ease pressure on Karnataka State’s capital city, Bangaluru. They will offer global tenders for the city’s development and design work.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE in the U.S. has issued a critical warning for fires that extend from Texas into Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. As reported in the New York Times, wildfires in these states have killed six people and burned more than 2,300 square miles. Approximately six million people live in places at risk of critical wildfire conditions, and forecasters have predicted that the geography of this natural disaster will expand to include Iowa and Nebraska. Damages to homes, businesses, and livestock, combined with firefighting expenses, will cost millions of dollars.
Firefighters fighting the flames near Protection, Kansas Credit: Bo Rader/ Wichita Eagle, via Associated Press and New York Times
IN ABU DHABI, some preliminary results of the renewable energy desalination pilot programme have been released. The American firm Trevi Systems, which set a low-energy target of 1 kilowatt hour per cubic metre, is currently achieving a rate of 1.3 – 1.4 kWh/m3. The other four companies invited by Masdar—Veolia/Sidem, Suez, Abengoa, and Mascara Engineering—are in the process of concluding their own trial-runs of small-scale desalination systems. The long-term goal of the initiative remains the same: to create and operate a renewable energy-powered desalination plant in the UAE by 2020; and to implement this sort of technology across the wider MENA region.
 “Suez Acquires GE Water for Euro 3.2 Billion,” Desalination.biz, March 8, 2017, < https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/Suez-acquires-GE-Water-for-Euro-32-billion/8689/> accessed March 8, 2017.
 James Debono, “Disused Hondoq Desalination Plant to be Reactivated,” Malta Today, March 9, 2017,
<http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/townscapes/75060/disused_hondoq_desalination_plant_to_be_reactivated> accessed March 9, 2017.
 For more information, see the webpage of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority: <http://era.org.mt/en/Themes/Pages/Welcome.aspx> accessed March 8, 2017.
 Sofia Lotto Persio, “Malta ‘Heartbroken’ Over Collapse of Azure Window as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat Leads Mourning,” International Business Times, March 8, 2017, <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/malta-heartbroken-over-collapse-azure-window-prime-minister-joseph-muscat-leads-mourning-1610449> accessed March 8, 2017.
 “IDE India to Deliver Desalinated Water to Proposed New City,” Desalination.biz, March 8, 2017, <https://www.desalination.biz/news/0/IDE-India-to-deliver-desalinated-water-to-proposed-new-city/8686/> accessed March 8, 2017.
 “Across the Parched Prairie, Fires Scorch 2,300 Square Miles,” The New York Times, March 8, 2017, <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/us/wildfires-midwest-prairie-texas.html> accessed March 9, 2017.
 Tom Freyberg, “Trevi Systems Reports ‘Lowest Energy Use’ from Forward Osmosis Desalination Trial in Abu Dhabi,” Water World, March 7, 2017, <http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/2017/03/trevi-systems-reports-lowest-energy-use-from-forward-osmosis-desalination-trial-in-abu-dhabi.html> accessed March 9, 2017.
 See Masdar’s website for more information: <http://www.masdar.ae/en/energy/detail/renewable-energy-water-desalination-in-uae> accessed March 9, 2017.