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The World’s largest pipeline water transfer Projects – Aka Man made rivers



Some nations and regions that are experiencing extreme water challenges are turning to technology and innovation to create long-lasting solutions for future generations.  Here is a list of five of the biggest and most ambitious water pipeline projects.

Ashkelon Desalination Plant, Israel

The Ashkelon Desalination Plant, which opened in 2005, converts more than 26 billion gallons of Mediterranean Sea water into freshwater for the State of Israel each year—5 to 6 percent of total demand. Ashkelon is not only the largest reverse-osmosis desalination plant in the world, but it’s also one of the few public plants to recover waste heat to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The process does require heat, though not as much as distillation. Reverse osmosis works best when the water is around 95 to 100 F. And while the Ashkelon plant operates at the low end of the desalination cost spectrum (52 cents per cubic meter of water) it’s still not cheap, at more than $51 million a year.

North-South Water Transfer Project, China

North-South Water Transfer Project, China

Long before an industrial explosion put China’s natural resources under intense strain, the country suffered a water problem. The mountainous southern region takes in ample precipitation, while the northern region, which has swelled to include more than 200 million people, must rely on limited groundwater supplies. In the 1950s, Communist leader Mao Zedong proposed moving water around the country to balance the scales. Now, half a century later, China has broken ground on the plan, called the North-South Water Transfer Project. When construction finally ends in 2050, the system will feature three different lines: a 716-mile diversion called the “Eastern Route,” a 786-mile “Central Route,” and 310-mile “Western Route.”

South–North Water Transfer Project Central route starting point taocha in Xichuan County, Nanyang, Henan

Moving water across long distances is incredibly energy-intensive—and yet valuable energy is also lost along the way. Even if the pipes are designed to take advantage of gravity, they require dampers every few meters to slow the force of the rushing water. China isn’t the only country to consider huge water transfer projects—a handful is proposed for the western U.S.—but this nationwide, decades-long engineering project takes the cake as the world’s most ambitious. “That takes the insanity to a whole new level,” says Mark Shannon of the University of Illinois and director of the Center for Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems. While it’s a remarkable feat, he points out that extended drought, reduced snowpacks, and melting glaciers are affecting water supplies world over, including China’s. Even a massive transfer project might not guarantee a constant flow of water.

G-Cans Tunnel System, Tokyo, Japan

On the street level, Tokyo is the world’s most populated metropolitan area, with more than 30 million people crammed into the city. But far below the teeming mass of humanity lies a sprawling system of cavernous tunnels, which are empty most of the time. These tunnels make up G-Cans, a system in the Saitama area, on the outskirts of Tokyo, designed to protect the Japanese capital from flooding in the summer wet season. While much of the world is grappling with potable freshwater shortages caused by chemical pollution and drought, global warming could also exacerbate the severe storms that flood many highly populated areas.

If the waters around Tokyo rise to dangerous levels, G-Cans’ 14,000-hp turbines will begin pumping water out of the Edogawa River and into one of five containment silos—each of which measures about 105 ft in diameter and 213 ft deep. The tunnels connecting those silos stretch about 4 miles, making G-Cans the world’s largest underground waterway. If you find yourself in Tokyo, you can tour this colossal underground complex for free—just bring a Japanese translator.

Marina Reservoir, Singapore

Singapore was in a tough spot when it came to collecting freshwater. This tiny country consists solely of the urban area surrounded mostly by sea, so residents, who now count nearly 5 million strong, had few places from which to draw drinking water. As the population grew, the threat of a water shortage heightened. With limited options, the government blocked off one of the city’s harbors to create an artificial reservoir.

The Marina Barrage, which opened in November, is a dam that spans the 1,150-ft Marina Channel. The nine crest gates, each more than 90 ft high, act as a barrier to keep seawater out of the Marina Reservoir. If it rains during low tide, the barrier is lowered to release water; during high tide, pumps inside the dam can blast water out. Meanwhile, freshwater from precipitation continues to pour in. After one or two years of this cycling, it should be a purely freshwater reservoir.

Singapore’s government says that the Marina Reservoir’s catchment—the area from which it collects water—amounts to one-sixth of the nation’s land area. So while Singapore might not have much land, it’s collecting fresh water from as big an area as possible.

Groundwater Replenishment System, Orange County, Calif.

In some respects, Orange County got lucky: It is one of the few places in California with an ample supply of groundwater, according to Shivaji Deshmukh of the Orange County Water District. But a growing population increased demand for water, and heavy consumption brought with it an even more serious problem: When the groundwater level started to sink below that of the sea, saltwater from the Pacific Ocean came dangerously close to leaching in and ruining the county’s supplies.

To fight back against this seawater intrusion, California scientists built a barrier—one made of water, not of concrete. First, engineers use reverse osmosis, micro-filtration, and UV radiation to purify wastewater, which would normally be discharged into the ocean, to drinking water standards. Then, using a 3-mile stretch of 36 wells, about 5 miles from the coast, they inject the reclaimed water in the ground. The wells, Deshmukh says, resemble pipes with perforations. The pressurized water forms a dam between the ocean and the groundwater basin, keeping saltwater at bay.

Orange County first tried this method in 1975, but the new Groundwater Replenishment System, which began operation in January 2008, can create and inject almost 15 times more purified water, Deshmukh says. This allows the county to expand the seawater barrier and keep up with population growth. With current rates of freshwater withdrawal, he told PM, it takes about 30 million gallons every day to maintain the barrier.

The Great Man-Made River

The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies water to the Sahara in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. It is the world’s largest irrigation project.

It is the largest underground network of pipes (2,820 kilometers (1,750 mi))[2] and aqueducts in the world. It consists of more than 1,300 wells, most more than 500 m deep, and supplies 6,500,000 m3 of freshwater per day to the cities of Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirte and elsewhere
There are four major underground basins. The Kufra basin, lying in the south-east, near the Egyptian border, covers an area of 350,000 square kilometers, forming an aquifer layer more than 2,000m deep, with an estimated capacity of 20,000 square kilometers in the Libyan sector.

The 600m-deep aquifer in the Sirte basin is estimated to hold more than 10,000 square kilometers of water, while the 450,000 square kilometer Murzuk basin, south of Jabal Fezzan, is estimated to hold 4,800 square kilometers. More water lies in the Hamadah and Kufrah basins, which extend from the Qargaf Arch and Jabal Sawda to the coast.

First conceived in the late 1960s, the initial feasibility studies were conducted in 1974, with work starting ten years later. The project, which still has an estimated 25 years to run, was designed in five phases. Each one is largely separate in itself but will eventually combine to form an integrated system.


The Jubail-Riyadh Water Transmission System.

The 412 km long twin pipeline, with two 88” pipes, will be one of the largest water transmission systems worldwide and will transport 1.2 million m³ of potable water per day. The project includes one pumping station in Jubail, two intermediate pumping stations along the route, and two tank farms each with a storage capacity of 1.2 million m³.

For the implementation of the project, the Owner SWCC chose the EPC Contractors LIMAK (station construction) and RTCC (pipeline construction). Both contractors have commissioned ILF for the design works. ILF’s scope covers design services for all disciplines including site support during commissioning.

North Cyprus Water Project

The 107-kilometer pipe will draw water from the Dragon River and unite the Turkish mainland with northern Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Proponents are hoping it will unify the island, divided for the past 39 years.

The suspended pipeline, moored to the floor of the seabed and well lower than where submarines can go, will carry freshwater from Turkish sources as much as 280 meters (919 feet) underwater, Bloomberg is reporting. The first kilometer of pipe has been laid, in what will be a $484 million project.

Cypriot government environment commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said that the pipeline is “not the best solution both in economic — too expensive — and environmental terms. Water is sensitive and might get polluted during the transfer.”

Others think that the water pipe might open the “channel” so that the Turkish north and Greek south can start mending old problems.

Greek Cypriots are already going ahead in their own way by building three more desalination plants to add to its current two plants.

Qatar Water Reservoir

Construction of five mega-reservoirs that aim to boost Qatar’s emergency water supply is now 70 percent complete, Kahramaa officials have announced.

When finished, they will be among the world’s largest reservoirs, with a capacity of some 100 million gallons of water each.

They aim to supply Qatar’s population a seven-day strategic reserve of fresh water.

Work on the $4.7 billion Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project began in 2015, with the initial phases slated to be done next year.

The reservoirs are being built in Um Baraka, Um Salal, Rawdat Rashid, Abu Nakhla, and Al Thumama.

According to the Qatar Tribune, more than 70 percent of reservoir construction has been completed and the facilities are now in the testing phase.

Additionally, water pipelines work is 95 percent complete and is now in the testing phase.

Williston Reservoir, Canada

In northeast British Columbia, near the towns of Hudson’s Hope and Mackenzie, is Williston Reservoir, one of the largest in the world by volume. The Peace River flows out of the eastern edge of Williston through the Peace River Canyon.

BC Hydro’s Peace Canyon project includes the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and the associated Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station, and the Peace Canyon Dam, 23 kilometers (km) downstream, which reuses water that has already generated electricity.
Surficial geology shows Williston Lake bounded by a variety of landforms. Geological features include a series of terraces formed by glacial outwash, moraines, and lacustrine deposits as well as alluvial fans and steep slopes of sedimentary rock. The major physiographic units include the Cassiar-Columbia Mountains bounding the western edge of Williston Lake, the Rocky Mountain trench of which the Finlay and Parsnip Reach occupy and the eastern systems including the Rocky Mountains, through which the Peach Reach passes.

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Science & Technology

N270bn Debts crippling Discos



The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday disclosed that the total indebtedness of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) to it (TCN) now stands at about N270billion.

Also yesterday, the federal government disclosed its willingness to have a private gas supplier – Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), take gas to the 215 megawatts (MW) Kaduna power generation company (Genco) which had been delayed from producing electricity almost 10 years after it was initiated.

Speaking at a meeting with donor agencies in Abuja, Managing Director of the TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed explained that the N270 billion unpaid debt was for the electricity transmission services it rendered to the Discos.

The TCN boss, who stated that the company was working hard to attain self-sustainability in its operations, stated that the debts if paid, would enable it to pay multilateral donor agencies that loaned it monies to execute transmission projects.

He, however, noted that the transmission company had reformed its project procurement and implementation processes and would be able to offset about $1.661 billion worth of loan it secured from multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) amongst others, to upgrade the national grid.

“The Discos owe us N270 billion cumulatively as uncollectible debts. We can finance our operation and so all the loans we have been taking, we are now signing agreements with the federal ministry of finance that we are going to pay the loans by ourselves,” said Mohammed.

“We also ask that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) should agree to reset the books of the Discos.

“They are owing to the TCN N270 billion but is it possible to collect that money until the books are reset so they can be clean. NERC (is) supposed to provide tariff that is cost-reflective”, he added.

Mohammed equally stated that with reforms and improved in-house engineering capacity in the TCN, the company recovered 775 stranded equipment containers out of 880 units that were left in Nigerian ports for years.

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Science & Technology

DisCos ask FG to respect electricity contracts



The electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to respect the various agreements it entered into with the investors in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

Following the commencement of the Transition Electricity Market (TEM), the electricity market was expected to be governed by the sanctity of power purchase agreements that the private investors entered into with the government.

Part of the power agreements is the minor and major reviews of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO), which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has frozen since 2015.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Barrister Sunday Odutan yesterday insisted that “the Federal Government of Nigeria must respect the sanctity of contracts”.



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Science & Technology

NCC gets Sept 26 deadline on 9.2m improperly SIM cards



Minister of Communications, Dr. Ibrahim Pantami on Monday gave the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) September 26 to rectify all improperly registered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in the country.

Pantami, who received the Management Team of the Commission in his office in Abuja, however, praised the Commission for its ability to reduce the number of improperly registered SIM cards from 9.2 million to 2.42 million within one week.

He told the team led by its board Chairman Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye that it had become necessary to ensure that not a single SIM card is being used in the country without proper registration considering its security implications and the challenges facing the country.

Pantami said: “Based on the report I received today from the NCC, within the period I issued a statement on improperly registered SIM and now, they were able to reduce the number significantly.
“Within this period, they were able to rectify at least over 6. 775 million lines with incomplete registration of SIM cards. So the total number of incomplete registration of SIM cards as it is today based on the report I received is 2.42 million. So the reduction within this period is about 73. 2 percent.

“This is a significant achievement from 9.2 million we are back to 2.4 million. Within this period, 6.775 million have been rectified and this highly commendable.”

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Travel & Tourism

Uber hopes to expand its bus system to Lagos



Uber is hoping to expand its imprint on public transportation in Africa’s largest city.

The ride-hailing firm is working on plans to help develop a bus system for Lagos, a gridlocked metropolis with over 20 million people. Company representatives have met with transport officials from the city, toured the terminals of the newly-launched smart city buses, and discussed plans for collaboration, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits confirmed to Quartz Africa on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town.

In June, Uber’s chief business officer Brook Entwistle visited the city and met with the Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Any plans would require full approval and collaboration by the state government which is known for its proclivity for bureaucratic control.

The moves are indicative of Uber’s plan to become the “Amazon” for transportation and tap into riders’ preferred mobility options. It’s also part of a strategy to add into its array of locally-popular forms of motorized transport, given the roll-out of boda-boda motorcycles in cities like Kampala, three-wheeled tuk-tuks in Dar es Salaam, or quick-trip, low-cost options on fuel-efficient vehicles in Nairobi. The e-hailing firm has also been partnering with transit agencies in cities to expand transportation access, decrease car ownership, and reduce congestion.

The bus options offer a “huge opportunity,” Lits said, given millions of people across the continent use them to move on a daily basis. In Lagos, about 80% of total daily passenger trips as of 2015 were made by public transport dominated by buses.

One option Uber could consider for the city is to offer real-time transit information and cashless ticketing on the Lagos Bus Services, allowing riders to plan their journeys and buy tickets. Traffic is a major challenge in Lagos with inadequate traffic guidance, bad roads, and unruly drivers making it all the worse. The city also does not yet have a modern light railway system for regular commuters though it is building one.

“I think the bus will prove to be a game-changer for Lagos and is obviously very much needed,” Lits said. He also added city officials were “excited” by the prospects of partnership. “It is a longer-term engagement but it is something we are willing to do and I think grateful for the willingness on the other side.”

The ride-hailing giant has launched similar experiments in cities including Denver, where commuters can buy, book and pay for bus and train rides using an in-app ticketing service

Six years after launching in Africa, Uber has been constantly adapting its business models to the needs of local markets amid competition from rivals. For example, African cities, led by Nairobi and Lagos, played a key role in driving Uber’s global strategy around cash. Last December, the San Francisco-based company launched its first bus service globally in Cairo: another traffic-clogged city where local firm SWVL was already using technology to help customers reserve seats on clean, air-conditioned, and high-quality buses.

After raising about $80 million in the past two years, SWVL has now expanded to Kenya and Pakistan and is looking to move into Nigeria, South Africa, and Côte d’Ivoire, chief executive Mostafa Kandil recently told Quartz. In Kenya, Safaricom-backed Little also launched a bus service to bring order to the unruly public matatu buses.”

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