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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Conwed and DelStar Technologies, now both part of the Advanced Materials and Structures (AMS) division of Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM), will exhibit their reverse osmosis (RO) feed spacers portfolio at the 2017 Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition, in Long Beach, CA (Booths #525 & #420 - February 13-17, 2017). Organized by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) this event will showcase how membrane technology can enhance water reliability and water quality while revealing new directions in water treatment technologies and wastewater membrane bioreactor applications. With over 1,200 attendees, it is the premier event for membrane technology and its applications in water, wastewater and industrial treatments in North America. Acquired by SWM in 2013, DelStar Technologies has a successful history as a market leader in feed spacers for RO wound elements. The recent acquisition of Conwed, the next-generation feed spacer developer in the world, by SWM, combines the talents of both companies to offer the undisputable, leading portfolio in feed spacers worldwide. “DelStar and Conwed have been competitors for decades, always aiming at developing the most advanced filtration products for an increasingly demanding industry. We are thrilled to join our talents and technologies to lead the feed spacer development across the globe”, said Ivan Soltero, senior strategic marketing manager at Conwed. Frequently known as spacer, scrim, mesh, net, or netting, feed spacers act as one of the layers of wound materials in RO filters and provide vital separation between the membranes to achieve superior filter performance. “As part of SWM’s enterprise, we will continue to address the top three challenges in every RO system: membrane damage, pressure drop and biofouling. Our combined expertise creates a distinctive hub of R&D, engineering and commercialization capabilities that truly make us the leading feed spacer developer in the world”, said Soltero. Reverse osmosis is a critical part of the world's water supply. The International Water Management Institute, a non-profit scientific research organization that focuses on sustainable water use in developing countries, estimates that by 2025 nearly 1 billion people will lack access to fresh, drinkable water. It's clear that Reverse Osmosis (RO) will play a major role in alleviating water scarcity, but there will be a strong push for greater efficiency and cutting energy costs while boosting product water output. “Water scarcity is a global challenge driving technology companies to improve existing and develop new materials and systems. We believe the next wave of innovation will come from the feed spacer”, said Soltero. To know more about Conwed in reverse osmosis applications, visit http://www.conwedplastics.com/ro About CONWED Conwed is the leading plastic netting manufacturer in the world. Conwed manufactures extruded, oriented, knitted and multilayer netting with unique customization capabilities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Conwed has five manufacturing locations on two continents and a global distribution network. http://www.conwedplastics.com About DelStar Technologies DelStar Technologies is the world’s leading manufacturer of thermoplastic nets, nonwovens, laminates and extruded components. Founded in 1946, DelStar has manufacturing, sales and distribution centers in the United States, Europe and the Pacific Rim. http://www.delstarinc.com About SWM Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. – SWM, is a leading global provider of highly engineered solutions and advanced materials for a variety of industries. SWM and its subsidiaries conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 3,100 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Brazil, Poland and China, including two joint ventures. http://www.swmintl.com

News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

The children in the villages around the Indian city of Nabha in Punjab state all know what Horlicks is, although few have tasted it. The malted milk drink, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is produced at the Horlicks plant in Nabha, which sources from around 1,500 dairy farmers in the surrounding area. But after several years of severe drought in a region already heavily reliant on groundwater, water reserves are in decline and fodder for cows is becoming more expensive. This is making dairy production increasingly difficult in one of the highest milk-producing states in the country – itself the world’s largest national producer of dairy. GSK is not the only big business facing drought-related problems in Punjab. Danone buys 50,000 – 80,000 litres of milk from 5,000 farmers in 100 villages in the state, and Nestlé sources more than 300m litres of milk from 100,000 farmers in three Indian states, including Punjab. To ensure a steady supply of milk, these companies have set up long-term sustainability projects in Punjab’s villages. But, as water shortages worsen, can they protect dairy farmers from the potentially devastating effects of continuous droughts? In 2012, Punjab’s chief minister Parkash Singh Badal called for a “white revolution”, encouraging the state’s farmers to take up dairy since, he said, most were too reliant on wheat-paddy rotation crops with slim profit margins. This revolution requires water. One cow consumes approximately 150 litres of drinking water a day. Water is also needed to produce fodder for cows. Fertile lands and good infrastructure in the state such as dams and irrigation systems have helped stave off the kind of acute water shortages witnessed in other parts of India over the last few decades. But the severity of the latest El Niño weather cycle has led to unprecedented temperatures, causing rivers, lakes and dams to dry up in many parts of northern India. In Punjab, low rainfall has decreased crop yields and put a huge strain on the state’s diminishing groundwater resources. “In the winter, cows can graze in the fields. But in the summer when there’s no rain we have to buy fodder,” says Harpreet Singh, a dairy farmer from the village of Issi who supplies milk to Horlicks. “It’s a big problem for us ... The cost of fodder keeps increasing but the price of milk stays fixed, so the entire business is in decline.” Harpreet Singh makes approximately 50,000 rupees (£570) profit a month in the winter, but says his losses in the summer leave him without savings. Horlicks’ farmers aren’t the only ones facing this crisis. On its website, Nestlé says: “Largely due to local over-exploitation by agriculture, industry and domestic use, the local water table is dropping by up to a metre a year and could affect the supply of milk in our Moga milk district [in Punjab].” To help farmers like Harpreet Singh cut down costs, GSK has set up education camps where farmers learn how to make their own silage from surplus grass, which can be used as cow feed in the dry season. Even though he’s feeling the pressure, Harpreet Singh says this is helping: “It’s a lot of effort, but in the summer it means we spend much less on buying fodder.” GSK also produces a magazine offering dairy farmers advice on topics such as water reuse. The initiatives are an effort to keep the dairy business booming: “Our hope is that, through working together, we can help local farmers remain in business, assuring our supply of milk for Horlicks,” says a company spokesperson. Danone, which makes Activia yoghurt, started sourcing milk from Punjab in 2012. Last year, the company set up Punjab 2020, an initiative which educates farmers in ways to improve soil quality by reducing fertiliser use so it retains more water, and maximise milk production in the context of drought. About 7,000 farmers have already gone through the company’s Academilk training programme and it has invested €570,000 (£508,000) to expand the programmes to 60 more villages. As part of Danone’s programme, the company provides communal chilling facilities, enabling those with even one or two cows to earn an income without having to invest in expensive coolers. “It is a win-win situation as it ensures a sustainable livelihood for the farmer while securing the milk supplies for Danone,” said a company spokesperson. Vibha Dhawan, senior director at the Energy Resources Institute, says that while companies are helping provide short-term solutions to prevent the dairy industry’s collapse, the urgent problem of groundwater over-extraction still needs to be addressed. Jaskaran Singh, who supplies milk to Nestlé, says that, without rainfall, farmers in his village rely on groundwater to irrigate their fields and maintain their cows. Groundwater has to be extracted using a diesel-fuelled pump. As water levels drop and farmers have to dig deeper, fuel costs increase. “We’re already drilling 10, 20, 30 feet into the ground,” he explains. “Now the water is very low. In 30 years, we may have to go much deeper, say 100 feet. That’s expensive.” Cost isn’t the only problem for those relying on groundwater. “As groundwater levels go down,” explains Dhawan, “the risk of arsenic or lead poisoning in the water increases because heavy metals settle lower down. If farmers keep extracting as they have ... the quality of the water, which ultimately goes into our milk, will also reduce.” While the companies have not yet found solutions to this, Nestlé has started funding research with the International Water Management Institute to understand the causes of groundwater depletion in the area surrounding its factory, in the Moga district. The research – which the company runs alongside wider farmer support programmes, such as cattle feeding, breeding, and veterinary support – includes a six-month pilot project investigating the company’s water footprint from milk. Dhawan believes the Punjab government is partly to blame for the groundwater crisis as it subsidises electricity for water extraction. Big companies and the government need to start investing in water-wise technology, she says, such as sub-soil irrigation, where pipes supply the soil at root level so less water is lost through evaporation, or precision agriculture methods, where farms are monitored by computer so exact amounts of inputs can be applied. “These are already technologies that exist, but they need to be made available to farmers,” says Dhawan.

SEOUL – August 23, 2016: Dr. Frank Rijsberman, the former CEO of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium, has been appointed as the Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Dr. Rijsberman will lead the Seoul-based international organization for a four-year term, beginning on October 1, 2016, succeeding Yvo de Boer. “The opportunity to support developing countries to achieve their economic growth ambitions while reducing poverty and minimizing the environmental impact is inspiring and very motivating to me,” Dr. Rijsberman said. “While GGGI is a relatively young organization, it has already established a strong track record in laying the policy foundations for green growth, increasing green investment flows, and sharing its knowledge and experience with partner countries. I look forward to building on this success and driving the Institute’s work towards achieving its vision of a resilient world with strong, inclusive, and sustainable green growth.” The appointment of Dr. Rijsberman became effective following the unanimous agreement by the GGGI Assembly, GGGI’s supreme organ. “On behalf of GGGI’s 26 Member countries, I warmly welcome Dr. Rijsberman to the Institute,” said H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of GGGI. “We are confident that under Dr. Rijsberman’s leadership, GGGI will accelerate its Members’ transition to a new model of growth, aligned with their Nationally-Determined Contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement and the internationally-agreed Sustainable Development Goals.” At CGIAR, Dr. Rijsberman led the Consortium’s transformation from 15 independent research centers towards a single integrated organization. This included a process of cultural and institutional change towards results-based management, including the development of the Consortium’s 2016-2030 Strategy and new portfolio of research programs for 2017-2022, building an integrated organization and governance structure, and developing its policies and procedures to ensure accountability. Prior to leading CGIAR, Dr. Rijsberman was the first Director of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he developed a strategy to help achieve universal access to sustainable sanitation services using radical new technologies and innovative market-based mechanisms. Dr. Rijsberman also has worked as Program Director at Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, where he led grant making in the public health initiative and was responsible for programs and partnerships in health, disaster response, geo-informatics, and climate-change adaptation. Before Google Dr. Rijsberman was Director-General of the International Water Management Institute, an international research institute with HQ in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Originally from the Netherlands, Dr. Rijsberman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology, and earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. in water resources planning and management and civil engineering from Colorado State University. About GGGI Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote green growth. The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly, are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI works with countries around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions. To learn more about GGGI, see http://www.gggi.org and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: news.mit.edu

According to present plans, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) — now under construction across the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia — will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, and one of the 12 largest in the world. But controversy has surrounded the project ever since it was announced in 2011 — especially concerning its possible effects on Sudan and Egypt, downstream nations that rely heavily on the waters of the Nile for agriculture, industry, and drinking water. To help address the ongoing dispute, MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Laboratory (J-WAFS) convened a small, invitation-only workshop of international experts last November to discuss the technical issues involved in the construction and operation of the dam, in hopes of providing an independent, impartial evaluation to aid in decision-making. The group’s final report, which was shared with the three concerned governments in early February, is being released publicly today. On March 23, the three governments signed an agreement to enter negotiations for final settlement of issues surrounding the dam’s operations. Though the agreement is preliminary, it marks a significant step forward. Professor John H. Lienhard V, the director of J-WAFS, was among the organizers of the November workshop held at MIT. He says that the group was carefully selected to include top experts on water resources engineering and economics and on the Nile Basin, and was charged with reviewing the current state of technical knowledge on the GERD and its potential downstream impacts. The idea was “to give advice, and do it impartially,” Lienhard says. “We went out of our way to find people who know about large dams and large rivers, and who are not affiliated with any of the three governments,” including people with “hands-on experience with dams of this scale,” Lienhard says. The meeting also included observers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. After the report was shared, members of the group also met with officials in Egypt and Ethiopia to review the technical issues. The working group developed consensus recommendations, which were incorporated into the 17-page report. It reflects agreement reached at the November workshop, says Lienhard, who is also the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food at MIT. The report raises five technical issues that require resolution. First, the GERD will join the Aswan High Dam as a second large reservoir on the Nile River. Egypt and Ethiopia need to formulate a plan for coordinating the operation of these two dams, so as to equitably share Nile waters during periods of reservoir-filling and prolonged drought. Nowhere in the world are two such large dams on the same river operated without close coordination. Second, the design of the GERD requires that a very large “saddle dam” be built to prevent water stored behind the GERD from spilling out of the northwestern end of the reservoir. The risks associated with a possible failure of this saddle dam may not have been fully appreciated, and must be carefully managed. Third, there is concern about the location and capacity of the GERD’s low-level release outlets to provide water to Egypt and Sudan during the reservoir’s filling or periods of drought. Fourth, the hydropower generated from the GERD exceeds Ethiopia’s current domestic power market, and it will therefore need to be sold outside Ethiopia. A plan is needed for such sales, and for the construction of transmission lines to regional markets. A power trade agreement will ensure that the Ethiopian people receive a good financial return on their investment. Fifth, the ongoing accumulation of salts in the agricultural lands of the Nile Delta could accelerate rapidly; additionally, the GERD will enable Sudan to increase irrigation withdrawals upstream, further reducing the water available to Egypt. Studies are urgently needed to identify the magnitude of these potential problems, and to mitigate their impact. Perhaps the biggest question concerning the new dam is how Ethiopia will manage the process of filling its huge reservoir, whose capacity equals more than a year’s flow of the Blue Nile. Egypt has expressed concerns that if the reservoir is filled too quickly, it could severely diminish the flow upon which Egypt depends; 60 percent of the nation’s water comes from the Blue Nile. “The Egyptians are very concerned about what a reduction in the amount of water would mean to them,” says Kenneth Strzepek, a research scientist at MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and a co-chairman of the November workshop. Dale Whittington, a professor at the University of North Carolina and a co-editor of the MIT report, says: “Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are currently hoping that a team of international consultants can quickly find technical solutions to these challenging problems to which they can agree. From our perspective, this is likely wishful thinking. The hard negotiations ahead will require that foreign policy and water experts from each of the three countries have a shared understanding of the technical issues and a willingness to compromise while hammering out detailed agreements on reservoir operation policy, power trade agreements, dam safety, and salinization control.” But, Whittington says, “A shared knowledge base and modeling framework is unfortunately lacking, despite over $100 million in investment by the Nile Basin Initiative over more than a decade of engagement.” Don Blackmore, former executive director of the Murray-Darling River Basin Authority in Australia and current chair of the International Water Management Institute, says, “Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia will try to work with their consultants to solve these five problems, but if these countries request assistance, we believe that the international community has an obligation to step forward.” Other nations can potentially play three roles, Blackmore says: providing impartial scientific advice; bringing legal expertise and experience on transboundary waters to help craft the text of technical agreements; and serving to arbitrate disputes that arise over time. Given the potential for conflict among the nations dependent upon this water, Blackmore adds, “The international community needs to focus on the Nile as a matter of urgency.”

Villholth K.G.,International Water Management Institute
Water International | Year: 2013

Groundwater irrigation for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa is growing in extent and importance. This growth is primarily driven spontaneously by the farmers themselves, spurred by improved access to low-cost technologies for pumps and drilling services as well as market opportunities for produce. This paper presents a review of the current status and knowledge of the prospects and constraints for sustainable and pro-poor groundwater irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further unlocking the potential of groundwater irrigation for smallholders will require better integrated approaches, simultaneously addressing groundwater-access constraints as well as enabling factors. © 2013 2013 International Water Resources Association.

Suhardiman D.,International Water Management Institute
Water Alternatives | Year: 2013

In the last two decades, international donors have promoted Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) as an international remedy to management problems in government irrigation systems in many developing countries. This article analyses the political processes that shape IMT policy formulation and implementation in Indonesia. It links IMT with the issue of bureaucratic reform and argues that its potential to address current problems in government irrigation systems cannot be achieved if the irrigation agency is not convinced about the need for management transfer. IMT's significance cannot be measured only through IMT outcomes and impacts, without linking these with how the irrigation agency perceives the idea of management transfer in the first place, how this perception (re)defines the agency's position in IMT, and how it shapes the agency's action and strategy in the policy formulation and implementation. I illustrate how the irrigation agency contested the idea of management transfer by referring to IMT policy adoption in 1987 and its renewal in 1999. The article concludes that for management transfer to be meaningful it is pertinent that the issue of bureaucratic reform is incorporated into current policy discussions.

Shah T.,International Water Management Institute
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Gujarat state in Western India exemplifies all challenges of an agrarian economy founded on groundwater overexploitation sustained over decades by perverse energy subsidies. Major consequences are: secular decline in groundwater levels, deterioration of groundwater quality, rising energy cost of pumping, soaring carbon footprint of agriculture and growing financial burden of energy subsidies. In 2009, Government of Gujarat asked the present author, an economist, to chair a Taskforce of senior hydro-geologists and civil engineers to develop and recommend a Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) strategy for the state. This paper summarizes the recommended strategy and its underlying logic. It also describes the imperfect fusion of socio-economic and hydro-geologic perspectives that occurred in course of the working of the Taskforce and highlights the need for trans-disciplinary perspectives on groundwater governance. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Qureshi A.S.,International Water Management Institute
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2011

The Indus River basin supplies water to the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world, providing water for 90% of the food production in Pakistan, which contributes 25% of the country's gross domestic product. But Pakistan could face severe food shortages intimately linked to water scarcity. It is projected that, by 2025, the shortfall of water requirements will be ∼32%, which will result in a food shortage of 70 million tons. Recent estimates suggest that climate change and siltation of main reservoirs will reduce the surface water storage capacity by 30% by 2025. The per capita water storage capacity in Pakistan is only 150 m 3, compared with more than 5000 m 3 in the United States and Australia and 2200 m 3 in China. This reduction in surface supplies and consequent decreases in groundwater abstraction will have a serious effect on irrigated agriculture. Supply-side solutions aimed at providing more water will not be available as in the past. Current low productivity in comparison with what has been achieved in other countries under virtually similar conditions points to the enormous potential that exists. To harness this potential, Pakistan needs to invest soon in increasing storage capacity, improving water-use efficiency, and managing surface-water and groundwater resources in a sustainable way to avoid problems of soil salinization and waterlogging. Building capacity between individuals and organizations, and strengthening institutions are key elements for sustaining irrigated agriculture in the Indus Basin. © International Mountain Society.

Pachpute J.S.,International Water Management Institute
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

A package of water management practices including pitcher irrigation method and water conserving techniques of manure application and mulching is experimented for sustainable growth and improved production of cucumber crop in Makanya village in North Eastern Tanzania. The increase in total yield due to package of water management practices is 203 per cent and water use efficiency obtained is 12.06 kg m-3. The seasonal water requirement of cucumber crop under package of water management practices ranges from 146.30 to 198.10 mm, which is on an average 4.19 times less as compared to control treatment of can irrigation. The irrigation interval in package of water management practices is 4.9 times higher than the can irrigation method. The water and labour uses are reduced by 75.9 and 73 per cent, respectively in package of water management practices. The results showed that the self-regulative nature of pitchers and moisture retention by water conserving techniques is helpful in mitigating water stress in crop root zone. The moisture retention period in soil is increased assisting reduction of labour hours required in irrigation. In local context, the water management practices included in the package are easy to understand, adopt, operate and maintain. © 2010.

Wegerich K.,International Water Management Institute
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2015

In the literature on the implementation of national policies there is an assumption that these get implemented uniformly within one country. Here, with a focus on the implementation of national policy on shifting from administrative to hydrological/hydrographic principles of water management in the Zerafshan Valley and the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan, this assumption is questioned. The case study demonstrates that national policies are resisted by lower-level bureaucrats, leading to diverse, even contradictory, outcomes of the same policy. The vested interests of a multiplicity of bureaucracies, the power of individual bureaucrats, and the discretional power given to bureaucracies in interpreting national policy are responsible for the different outcomes. The article calls for more comparative assessments across different regions for a better understanding of policy implementation. © 2014, © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

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