Japan has an unlikely new export product: the sewage it normally dumps into rivers or the sea. The first buyer is the Australian mining industry. Could this also become a new money earner for developing countries? Well, no. The “export quality” sewage in question is effluent from high-tech Japanese wastewater treatment plants.
An innovative trade experiment will take place in the autumn of 2010. Australian ships with iron ore for Japan, will return, not with seawater in their ballast tanks, but with highly treated sewage water.
Australia is facing a water shortage and mines need a lot of (expensive) water for their operations. If all goes well, the cost of Japan’s sewage water will be less than the AU$ 4 to AU$5 (US$ 3.50 – US$ 4.40) per ton that the mining companies currently have to pay.
Companies involved in the experiment, including Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd., plan to start sewage water exports on a commercial basis in fiscal 2012. The state of Western Australia, home to major mining companies such as Rio Tinto, has agreed to cooperate in the experiment.
In Japan, about 14 billion tons of treated sewage water is produced every year, but only 1.5 percent of the amount was reused in 2007.
Source: Dai Narusawa, Asahi Shimbun, 07 Jul 2010
More than 300 industries located in the Sindh Industrial and Trading Estate (SITE) in District West are facing hardships because of a shortfall in water supply from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).
‘’Due to the water shortage, more than 50 per cent of export industries are closed and more are on the verge of closure. Despite repeated requests to the MD of KW&SB, no improvement is seen in water supply to the biggest industrial estate of the country,’’ Chairman SITE Association, Salim Parekh, said in a letter sent to the Sindh governor on Monday.
As per schedule, KW&SB is bound to supply water continuously without a break, for 12 hours daily, but what is happening is that the supply hours have dropped to three to four hours, and that also with interruption of one hour. As a result, pressure of water goes down to zero and takes one to two hours for building up the pressure,’’ he stated.
Allocated quota of water fixed by the government is eight million gallons a day (MGD) but the SITE area is receiving hardly 2.5-3 MGD and that is also at a low pressure. As a result of that, industries are getting meagre supply of water and are on the edge of closure.
‘’Even the SITE fire brigade station does not have enough water to extinguish the fires erupted from time to time in industries due to which the fire engulfs an entire industry and losses reach in millions besides fatal and non-fatal injuries to firemen and workers working in the factory,” he added.
Source: Express Tribune, 13 Jul 2010