Coca-Cola North America has accelerated the launch of its Dasani flavored water beverages to retailers with the introduction of 20-ounce plastic bottles in February and six-packs in March.
The wastewater treatment plant in Lititz, Penn., operated by Severn Trent Services, has been awarded the 2004 Plant Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award from the East Pennsylvania Water Pollution Control Operators Association. The company also announced it is cutting 350 jobs to create revenue for investment in services. The location of the job cuts was not disclosed.
The Great Lakes Declaration to protect the watershed for future development has been signed by the U.S. EPA and a variety of municipalities and tribal leaders in the area.
ITT Water Technology has awarded the 2004 Golden Eagle, the company’s oldest sales and marketing award, to customer service center manager Jeff Barrow, marketing development manager Randy Cracknell and territory sales manager Terry Jordan. The company also announced 21 percent sales growth in all segments of its business, including continued momentum in water/wastewater with strong order growth.
The Ohio Water Quality Association has awarded Bill Prior, one of the founders of Kinetico, with its first Industry Excellence Award.
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Company is challenging an Indian high court ban on the use of colored packaging for mineral water. Coke has been bottling the water in a jar with a blue tinge.
Zenith International is reporting that the European POU drinking water industry has experienced growth of about 30 percent annually since 1999. The industry now accounts for over 10 percent of total cooler placements in Europe and is continuing to gain share from bottled water coolers.
The Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos Company has acquired The Alldos Group. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Danone poised to drop water business
Groupe Danone announced €600 million (more than $770 million US) write-off for some of its U.S. and European water businesses and there is speculation that the company will fold its water business in the coming year, online business journal The Motley Fool reports. The company’s net income has slid 62 percent since last year. At present, the company is involved in joint ventures in the U.S. and Europe to provide home- and office-delivered bottled water, as well as a separate venture with Coca-Cola for products such as Evian. While the company hasn’t yet announced its longterm plans for their water business, management indicated that it will have more decisive plans by the end of the second quarter of 2005.
IBWA challenges Polaris Institute
The International Bottled Water Association is challenging the recently released book Inside the Bottle, by the Canadian-based Polaris Institute for what it calls, “the authors’ mischaracteriza-tion of bottled water” in an attempt to, “create doubt about the effective and comprehensive system of federal and state regulations and standards for bottled water in the United States and elsewhere.” According to an IBWA press release, the book claims that the bottled water industry is misusing or depleting the nation’s renewable groundwater resources, though the accusations are not supported by science. The IBWA cites a report prepared by the Drinking Water Research Foundation, using data from the U.S. Geological Survey, that shows that bottled water accounts for less than 0.02 percent of all groundwater withdrawals.
EPS budget cut six percent
The Bush administration’s proposed 2006 budget includes cutting EPA funding by about six percent to $7.57 billion annually. Most of the reduction comes from a revolving fund that states use to upgrade sewage and septic systems and storm-water run-off projects. Funding for that source would fall more than 33 percent under the proposed budgets, however, it would hold steady a separate $850 million states’ fund for clean drinking water, according to Reuters.
Fluoride may harm pets
Legislators in Oregon have revived the debate over the safety of fluoride in municipal water with a proposed bill that would require the addition for all cities in the state with more than 10,000 people. The cause of the stir is the impact the measure might have on pets drinking fluoridated water. Critics cite a barrage of studies that show the chemical can accumulate in animals’ brains and exposure can alter mental behavior much like known neurotoxins.
Norland receives presidential award
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) presented the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting to Lincoln-based Norland Int’l. Inc. Norland is the first Nebraska-based company since 1992 to receive the “E” Award, and only the 14th since the award’s introduction in 1961. On average, from 10 to 15 companies a year receive the award nationwide, an honor for U.S. companies for their competitive achievements in world markets and for their role in increasing U.S. exports abroad. Norland’s international business makes up about 70 percent of the company’s sales.
AWWA desal research
The American Water Works Association Research Foundation has selected Carollo Engineers to complete a significant water desalination and concentrate (brine) management and disposal research project. Desalination Product Water Recovery and Concentrate Volume Minimization will explore new technologies and management techniques to provide solutions for the most difficult problem associated with the process—disposal of the concentrate desal generates.
Santa Fe kills water deal
The Santa Fe City Council voted unanimously to kill a water rights deal that would have seen billions of gallons annually piped from the Estancia Basin. The deal would have cost $27 million for Santa Fe, for about 7,200 acre-feet in water rights from Sierra Waterworks. Widespread protests from neighboring Estancia Basin residents prompted the reversal.
IBWA unveils educational tool
The International Bottled Water Association and the United States Forest Service have created a new educational conservation tool to promote awareness of the importance of a healthy watershed, and other vital information about clean water sources. Water…Our Most Important Resource is an interactive, online presentation explaining the hydrological cycle, the importance of forested watersheds and environmental stewardship. It details how much water a variety of commercial and public enterprises use and outlines the steps needed to protect and sustain water resources. The presentation can be accessed on the Forest Service’s Cooperative Forestry website, www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop or on the IBWA website, www.bottledwater.org
Water chief resigns in protest
The head of the Hawaii Water Commission has resigned in protest of Governor Linda Lingle’s plan to shift water management responsibilities to the counties instead of concentrating them at the state level. Yvonne Izu was deputy director of water resource management for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. She quit after being asked to testify in favor of the state senate bill that would reorganize water responsibilities, saying it was irresponsible to ask the water commission staff to support a measure that would dismantle it.
Texans support water-saving campaign
The Texas Water Development Board has released a survey showing that Texans overwhelmingly support a public awareness campaign to promote water conservation and believe their state should be doing more to conserve water. Eighty-seven percent of respondents supported the idea in the survey, which was spurred by Texas Sen. Robert Duncan and Representative Robert Puente’s push to secure about $15 million in state funds for such a campaign, tentatively titled, “Water IQ: Know Your Water.”
Younger consumers more likely to buy bottled water
As bottled water has established itself firmly as the second-most-consumed beverage in the United States (based on volume, behind carbonated drinks), new studies show that the younger the customer, the more likely to drink bottled water. According to Mintel Corporation, a global market research firm, teenagers are more apt to drink bottled water than adults because they have never been without bottled water advertising and are not averse to paying for it, unlike many adults. The report demonstrates that as the age of the respondent increased, so too did the aversion to bottled water.
Portola and Midbrook sign licensing deal
Portola Packaging Inc., has completed a licensing agreement with Midbrook Inc., for the production, marketing and sale of Portola’s Cap Snap Water Equipment. Midbrook, with manufacturing locations in Jackson, Mich. and São Paulo, Brazil, is a manufacturer of metal parts, washing and drying equipment and robotic and conveying systems under the brand names “Hurricane” and “Cyclone.”
Dewatering questions answered online
USFilter Corp. has launched a new website to answer common and more complicated filter press questions for industry professionals, press owners and operators. The site, www.usfilterdsg.com, features a list of 35 answers to often-asked questions and problems in the area of filter press process, operation and maintenance. The free service is accessible on the website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Drug data program to focus on water
The Canadian Water Quality Association is reporting that a pilot project is underway in Winnipeg to collect drug data in order to provide an early warning of water problems in the area. The report said that collecting drug data from pharmacies and emergency rooms could give public health officials a heads-up on future tainted water problems. During previous water contamination incidents, sales of anti-diarrheal medication soared prior to the government’s awareness of the problem. Had those sales been tracked, as they will be under the new program, the problem may have been realized earlier.
North America’s largest DW plant
Zenon Environmental Inc. has completed its work on a water treatment plant in the City of Kamloops. The River Street Water Treatment Plant, which opened in February, has a capacity of 160 million liters per day, making it the largest water treatment facility with ultra-filtration membrane technology in North America. “After more than 10 years of work, the City of Kamloops is finally able to provide consistently high-quality drinking water to residents and visitors, 365 days a year,” said Mayor Mel Rothenburger.
Report on bottled water in Mexico
Research and Markets Inc. has announced the addition of Mexico Bottled Water 2004 to their offerings of market analyses of non-alcoholic drinks industry coverage. The report provides 2003 year-end market data, with future estimates and five-year forecasts to give an overview of the Mexican bottled water market forboth mineral and purified waters. For a full copy of the report, visit www.researchmarkets. com/reports/c12439. The data is supplied in both graphical and tabular format for ease of interpretation and analysis.
Herbicide found in source water
A carcinogenic herbicide has been found in Orford’s water supply for the second time in six months, according to local authorities. The chemical simazine, which was discovered in the Prosser River in July 2004, was found at double the level it was previously discovered in the same location. Public Health Director Roscoe Taylor called the discovery, “unacceptable.” Local authorities have since launched an investigation to determine the source of the contamination.
NZ bottled water growth fueled by health fears
Rapid growth for the bottled water industry in New Zealand is being fueled by a new national obsession with health and welfare, according to research from a local academic. Keith Petrie of Aukland University says bottled water is seen as a natural antidote to “chemicals and technologies full of risk and hazard,” such as genetically-modified foods. The trend has also helped to spur exponential growth in the organic goods and vitamin supplement industries in New Zealand.
Tourism hurt by water contamination
Water supplies to more than 250,000 people living near the Sitting Buddha in Leshan, China are likely to be cut off due to pollution from paper mills on the Qingyi River. The 1,200-meter sculpture of Buddha is one of the country’s most famous tourist spots and local authorities are currently not sure how to supply water to the area where drinking water quality standards cannot be maintained from the polluted river.
Inexpensive desal option
Scientists in Cape Town, South Africa, have developed a new desalination system that they believe could be the answer to the city’s current water crisis, Independent News & Media of South Africa reported. Ocean Mineral Water, a local group run by Grahamtek Systems, has been developing the system locally since 1994 and has since erected a plant in the Maldives that processes half a million liters of potable water each day. City officials are currently evaluating the technology and determining the feasibility of incorporating such a system into the Cape Town municipal water system.