Iran Attempts to Reverse the Decline of the Region’s Largest Saltwater Lake

Lake Urmia, a source of culture, identity and livelihood for a large portion of the Iranian population, now faces ‘critical conditions’, according to the United Nations Development Program. The largest lake in the Middle East, Urmia’s surface area is now only 12 percent of what it was in the 1970s. A damaging combination of inefficient irrigation methods, unsustainable water use, the over construction of dams on feeder rivers and an intense and persistent drought is thought to have accelerated its decline. This occurrence is not an uncommon one in the Middle East, or in the rest of the world. The demise of the Aral Sea wrought havoc in Central Asia, creating issues with health, unemployment and food and water security. Accordingly, the Iranian Government has launched a restoration project, despite public disenchantment and large financial costs.
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Falling Costs & Tech Innovations Will Drive Offshore Wind Power Boom

Offshore wind technology opens up sites with high wind resources. Offshore wind farms can be built quickly, at gigawatt-scale, close to densely populated coastal areas. This makes offshore wind an important addition to the portfolio of technologies to decarbonize the energy sector in a cost-effective manner. Advances in wind power technologies continue to drive cost reduction and expansion into new markets. While onshore wind power is increasingly cost competitive against conventional power generation technologies, growing attention is being paid to technology development for offshore applications that open the door to sites with better wind resources. This combination of higher capacity factors and the availability of large-scale sites makes offshore wind an attractive alternative for utility-scale low-carbon electricity. Wind development is essential to decarbonize the global economy. According to IRENA’s analysis, wind power will have to become the leading power generation technology by 2030 to ensure a decarbonization of the global economy. Offshore wind capacity can reach 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 as innovation continues as the industry takes shape. It could increase faster if policies were adopted to double renewables in the global energy mix. This ambitious decarbonization pathway requires 1990 GW of total installed wind capacity by 2030, of which offshore wind would provide about 280 GW. The “Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind Technology” report aims to inform policy makers and other stakeholders about anticipated developments in the next three decades that will make off shore wind competitive on a large scale. Continue reading

State of the Ultrasonic Art

Non-contacting ultrasonic equipment has, for many years, been the default method to measure level and flow within the water and wastewater industries. The combination of reliability and low maintenance, coupled with the sophistication of the most recent systems have meant that thousands upon thousands of applications world-wide call upon this most well proven of technologies. Ultrasonic technology has been used for level and flow measurement since the 1970’s. Most ultrasonic systems operate by ‘time of flight’, a piezo-electric crystal being electrically excited to emit a sound pulse, and the time taken for that pulse to bounce off the target and return being measured and converted into a distance. Early systems were based on analogue electronics and, while ingenious, were very tricky to set up and unreliable in all but the simplest applications. The challenge, then as now, is that of ‘false echoes’, where signals from hard elements in the vessel such as stanchions, struts or stirrers interfere with and can overwhelm the ‘true’ echo. Continue reading

Advancing Clean-Energy Desalination: In the Limelight

The global desalination market has grown significantly in the past few years, with the largest plants coming on line in the Middle East. According to the 2016-2017 IDA Yearbook, published by Global Water Intelligence, the period June 2015 to June 2016 saw an increase of 3.7 million m3/d of desalination capacity added globally. Much of this added capacity came from a slew of awards for large-scale seawater projects, particularly in the Gulf region. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the single largest water desalination technology used all over the world. The reverse osmosis membrane market, in terms of value, is projected to reach USD5 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 15.75 percent, between 2016 and 2021, states a recent Research and Markets report. High-growth application areas such as seawater desalination systems and RO purification systems and stringent regulations due to increased concerns over safe drinking water are the key factors driving the growth of the RO market. Continue reading

Preventing Odor Emissions at WWTPs by Integrated Approaches

The general approach to reduce odor emissions is the implementation of odor abatement technologies, which entails important costs and often requires compelling operator efforts. This end-of-pipe treatment approach addresses odor nuisance management once odorants have been produced and released from the wastewater. In this context, a more desirable approach would be the prevention of odorant formation and/or release from the wastewater. Limited options are available for the prevention of odorant release at WWTPs beyond proper design and good operating practices such as maintaining aerobic or anoxic conditions in the wastewater where possible, frequent cleaning of process units, minimization of the sludge retention time in thickeners and dewatering systems or the use of buildings and covers to confine the emission in key operation units. So, the general approach of implementing odor abatement technologies to resolve odor problems often require an expensive upgrading of the plant and increase operating costs, while having a limited potential to control the odor generation. Continue reading

Optimized Operation at the Largest Drinking Water Nanofiltration Plant in Germany

To ensure the water supply for the city of Dinslaken (Germany), the water treatment company – Wasserwerk Dinslaken GmbH – has since 1961 operated the Löhnen plant which is located approximately 2.5km from the river Rhine. The water treatment plant (unit 1), fed by 6 vertical wells and driven by large pumps (150 m3/h each), was in 1989 expanded by the addition of a second more flexible treatment unit (based on 3 speed-controlled pumps – 50 to 150 m3/h each). Since the expansion of the process treatment plant in 2003 by the addition of a highly flexible duty Nanofiltration plant with two rapid cold softening reactors and 6 downstream turbidity filters, the plant reached a minimum processing capacity of 400 m3/h and a maximum treatment capacity of 1,100 m3/h. According to the existing water agreements, the two production units (I and II) can allow the production of a total of 5.6 million m3/a. In the city, the daily highest water consumption is 19,000 m3/d. The new filtration technique became necessary in anticipation of future coal mining projects in the area of Mommbach causing deterioration in feed water quality due to risk of over extraction of water from the local water table resulting in ingress of Rhine river bank filtrate (with it all unwanted impurities). After prefiltration of the well water by passing through gravel and sand filters, it feeds to the Nanofiltration Plant to remove any residual particulates and dissolved but undesired minerals and organics substances. Continue reading

How Can Cities Cope with Rapid Water Scarcity in Iran?

Water shortage will displace more people in the years to come. Iran needs more investments in water projects to control the issue. The following article will reflect the water image in Iran for now, and the years to come. Iran’s soaring population growth further threatens its water resources, already low in most of the country from insufficient rainfall and its desert environment. Some 55 percent of Iran’s population is below the age of 25, and continues to increase. Water shortages are expected to remain a key resource problem in Iran, similar to other regions in the Middle East, and cause regional instability if policy-makers do not develop long-term water management strategies, particularly for irrigation projects. Continue reading

How to Finance the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 Program

The government of Dubai has unveiled an ambitious program which will see 25 percent of its power generation come from solar energy by 2030. The wide-ranging Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 program is expected to result in USD13.6 billion worth of new solar (mainly photovoltaic (PV)) investments. The surge in investments comes from 2 sources: on the one side, Dubai Energy and Water Authority (DEWA) has signalled its strong commitment to these targets and moved towards their implementation plan securing extension of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which has now a planned capacity of 3 GW by 2030. On the other side, the Shams Dubai initiative was launched in March 2015 allowing customers to install PV panels at their premises and connect to DEWA’s grid under a net metering scheme. Considering that there are some 115,000 buildings in Dubai this is expected to result in some 2,000MW of solar rooftop capacity. The total value of these rooftop solar systems is USD2 billion. To help building owners cushion the burden of the high upfront costs of these rooftop systems the government announced the USD27 billion Dubai Green Fund to provide low-cost loans for investors in the solar rooftop sector. But how can the government raise financing for the Fund? Continue reading

MENA Renewables: Selective Investment Key amid Muted Growth

Renewables capacity will account for only a small fraction of electricity generation in the MENA region over BMI Research’s 10-year forecast period due to heavy reliance on accessible and relatively economic gas- and oil-fired generation in major markets. Amid the muted outlook for growth BMI highlights some investment bright spots – specifically the UAE, Morocco and potentially Egypt. Continue reading

SCADA Market for Water & Wastewater: Running at Full Speed

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a computer-based system used to gather and analyze real-time data. The growing trend of automation among industries is creating opportunities for the SCADA market globally. According to MarketsandMarkets’ report, the SCADA market is expected to reach up to USD11.16 billion by 2020. Moreover, the application of SCADA in wastewater management has been growing over the past few years and is set for a rapid expansion, as per a new report published by QYResearch Reports. The implementation of SCADA positively impacts the process, maintenance, and operations of wastewater management. Continue reading