In the UK, United Utilities secured GBP500m in funding from the European Investment Bank to support investments toward development of the region’s water infrastructure.The 18 year loan will fund the upgrade of water and wastewater networks under the utilities’ GBP3.5bn capital investment programme for the 2015 to 2020 regulatory period.
In a press statement, Russ Houlden, chief financial officer at United Utilities said the funding is a huge contribution towards the company’s plans to benefit customers, the environment and to improve firm’s ability to cope with climate change.
"We aim to do this at the lowest sustainable cost possible in order to keep bills down,” added Houlden.
The EIB has for the past 12 years provided the utilities organisation with GBP2.25bn in funding directed to projects such as the completion of a GBP200m programme for the extension of the Liverpool wastewater treatment plant.
[quote] United Utilities will receive GBP250m this year, with the remaining funds to be received as the programme progresses.
Jonathan Taylor, vice president of the EIB reiterated that the bank will continue engagement with the utility, which is currently serving 7,2 million domestic and business customers, to ensure that water infrastructure can cope with the UK's growing population and business sector.
Smart water and waste water management
Meanwhile in the US, global smart water management company SUEZ last week was signed by the US town of Putnam, in Windham County, Connecticut to manage its water and wastewater systems.
Under the US$30m contract, the company will manage the town’s water network consisting of a 7.6 millions of gallons per day (mgd) wastewater treatment facility and its collection system, 10 sewerage pump stations and 88.6 miles of its sewer main. [Mass rollout to spark increased adoption of smart water systems]
In addition, SUEZ will operate and maintain Putnam’s water system comprising 10 wells providing 1.1 mgd a day to the community, two storage tanks, approximately 250 fire hydrants, 750 valves and 38 miles of its water main.
The water management companies are also targeting the deployment of smart water meters within the project’s first 18 months to reduce leaks and ensure accurate water billing.
The project falls under the town’s plan to invest more than US$40m to improve its water infrastructure.
Commenting on the development, Jim Shaw, Chairman of the Putnam Water Pollution Control Authority, said: “This partnership is a proven way to operate efficiently, ensure adequate water supplies, achieve compliance with environmental rules, enhance water service provision, and improve our water and wastewater infrastructure.”
Image credit: www.cep.org.uk