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News Algeria: A Drought-Proof Water Supply for Algiers

One of the largest seawater desalination plants in the world was officially opened in Algiers on Sunday (24/02/2008) by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and a senior executive of the U.S.-based General Electric Company, which built and will operate the plant. The new $250 million facility will supply the millions of residents of this capital city by the sea.

Constructed on a brownfield site just east of the Port of Algiers, the Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant purifies seawater with GE's proprietary reverse osmosis membranes, and the company says it can handle up to 53 million gallons of seawater a day. This location was not chosen for the purity of its water, but for its infrastructure.

The plant will provide as many as two million residents of Algiers with a reliable supply of potable water, an increasingly scarce commodity to come by as rural residents have moved to the city in rising numbers over the past 50 years. Water scarcity caused by demand, drought, and an aging, leaky distribution system has meant frequent water rationing. Sometimes the water has been running only one of every three days. With few surface water sources, the Algerian government has invested in new dams to improve its rain catchment and storage capacity, but they have not been enough to meet demand, due to persistant drought.

Repairs to the city's water distribution system have cut water losses from 40 percent to less than 25 percent, but still water scarcity has been a daily trial for residents. Completed on time and on budget in 24 months, the Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant is North Africa's first large-scale reverse osmosis desalination plant to be funded by a joint venture that combines public and private equity investment. The special project company, Hamma Water Desalination SpA, combines 70 percent funding from General Electric and 30 percent from the state-owned Algerian Energy Company, AEC.


Contact information Environment News Service (ENS) 2008
News type Inbrief
File link http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2008/2008-02-25-01.asp
Source of information EMWIS NFP in Algeria: The Hydrographical Basin Agency Constantinois-Seybousse-Mellegue (ABH-CSM)
Keyword(s) desalination
Subject(s) DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION : COMMON PROCESSES OF PURIFICATION AND TREATMENT , INFRASTRUCTURES , POLICY-WATER POLICY AND WATER MANAGEMENT , RISKS AND CLIMATOLOGY , SANITATION -STRICT PURIFICATION PROCESSES , WATER QUALITY
Relation http://www.emwis.net/countries/fol749974/country411475
Geographical coverage Algeria
News date 27/02/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH
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