Live coverage: Latest news on coronavirus and water industry
TUESDAY, MARCH 31
EPA relaxes environmental regulations during the coronavirus outbreak
A new EPA policy released last Thursday establishes new guidelines for company self-monitoring during the coronavirus crisis.
The water and electricity bills of shopping malls, commercial shops, hotels, hotel apartments, and plants will be reduced by 20 per cent for three months.
NDS, a US subsidiary of NORMA Group, has been classified as part of the critical infrastructure in the area of “water and sanitation” in accordance with the criteria of the federal authority Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Turkish authorities’ failure to ensure adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in Northeast Syria is compromising humanitarian agencies’ ability to prepare and protect vulnerable communities in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not everyone can wash their hands
The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of handwashing with soap and water as one of the keys to halting the spread of the disease.
MONDAY, MARCH 30
The Ministry of Energy of Iran has announced it will launch several electricity and water projects despite the outbreak of the coronavirus ravaging the country with the official death toll passing 2,000.
Thames Water customers will continue to see the company’s engineers working in their communities to maintain essential water and wastewater services during the coronavirus outbreak.
Why will the water industry resist the pandemic?
It is devastating to see how the number of deaths by # COVID19 increases every day. And it is even worse to know that, in many cases, their family and friends have not been able to give them even one last goodbye. Despite the efforts of the vast majority of citizens, administrations and companies, the virus continues to do damage that is difficult to bear in our society. But we have no choice but to try to bring out the best in ourselves and, each in his field, do everything possible to stop it. This is what water utilities are doing, guaranteeing the quality of services, more essential than ever, and protecting their workers from the risk of contagion.
FRIDAY, MARCH 27
Stimulus package from US Congress does not include financial relief for the water sector
Last Wednesday the US Congress presented a stimulus package including funds for several private sectors, but not for the water sector.
Out-of-work truck drivers have swapped celebrity television shows for water to help protect vital services during the coronavirus outbreak.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26
"We don’t foresee a significant long term impact from COVID-19 on the industry"
We speak with Amit Horman, Miya's CEO, to know how his company is managing the situation.
The United Nations launched a US$2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
SUEZ and all our employees are fully focused on ensuring continuity of service in all the countries where we operate.
Researchers from The Netherlands claim to have found novel coronavirus in wastewater
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been detected in wastewater in the Netherlands, according to RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment research.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
COVID-19 looms over refugee camps where water scarcity is commonplace
With the coronavirus spreading across the world, millions of people living in refugee camps are preparing for the arrival of the pandemic.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, The Philippines Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System releases a statement assuring the Metro Manila residents that the drinking water supplied is safe.
As with water utilities across the world, we have a range of measures in place to manage the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring we can continue to provide safe and reliable water and sewerage services to our customers.
Water companies in England and Wales have stepped up efforts to help customers who have lost their jobs or had their incomes cut during the coronavirus crisis.
Middlesex Water Company has announced that despite the current COVID-19 crisis, the company is maintaining reliable utility services as well as continuing its ongoing construction projects.
Across the industry companies are working together so that every single person across the UK can continue to rely on their water supply and sewerage service.
UNICEF and partners are supporting families in the city of al-Hassakeh and camps for displaced families with water trucking, but this barely covers minimum needs if the water supply is interrupted again.
Water access critical to beating back COVID-19 spread in slum areas
UN-Habitat said the impacts of the new coronavirus disease could be considerably higher on the urban poor living in slums, where overcrowding also makes it difficult to follow other recommended measures.
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
As communities across the world search for ways to quickly protect the health and safety of their residents, De Nora, has delivered a mobile on-site sodium hypochlorite (bleach) generator to Fort Bend County, Texas.
The leading national public health institute of the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has published a fact sheet on water transmission and COVID-19.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County is taking extraordinary steps to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County. As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the plant for the next three weeks, monitoring and overseeing this critical regional facility.
MONDAY, MARCH 23
The government of Bahrain is to pay individuals’ and businesses’ Electricity and Water Authority utility bills for three months from April 2020 (up to the costs incurred during the same period in 2019), whilst also restructuring government administrative costs to offset additional costs incurred by the government.
The world is at a greater risk from coronavirus due to poor water infrastructure
Water infrastructure has been suffering from inadequate funding for decades; as a result many countries are at increased risk during this coronavirus crisis due to inadequate access to water and sanitation.
From 1 April, Scottish Water will relax pre-payment arrangements for wholesale water charges on Licensed Providers who supply water to businesses in Scotland - worth about £60 million.
Fluence China is fully operational notwithstanding the previous significant effects of the spread of the Coronavirus in Hubei Province and other parts of the country.
Our role in the COVID-19 crisis
From Smart Water Magazine we are committed to putting all our resources so that organizations and professionals are kept perfectly informed. We know that the countries experiencing the first signs of growth of the pandemic look to others such as Spain or Italy, where the impact is already very strong. It is imperative that we learn from the successes and mistakes of those who are already facing the enemy, also in the water industry. In this battle, you can count on the support of SWM.
FRIDAY, MARCH 20
Coronavirus & Water Pandemics: Doing the Math
Vladimir Smakhtin (Director at UNU-INWEH) reflects on the global water pandemic, the silent pandemic.
San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have increased regional coordination and communication to ensure the coronavirus pandemic does not impact safe and secure water service for San Diego County.
AWWA releases preliminary results from an AWWA member survey (see full graph), on how the coronavirus will affect water companies in the U.S., and finds absenteeism and continuity of operations are the major areas of expected challenges from COVID-19 for water utilities.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19
One of the United Kingdom's largest listed water companies has released a statement reassuring its customers: "We understand this is a challenging time and we’ve put our robust business continuity plans into action so we can make sure we can still supply our water and wastewater services to all customers across the North West."
The government of the state of Western Australia announced earlier this week a stimulus package to support households and small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency worth $607 million.
The biggest portion ($402 million) will go to freeze all household fees and charges, including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy and public transport fares, which will not increase at least until July 1st, 2021.
El Salvador to freeze water and electricity fees and mortage payments
President Nayib Bukele announces a stimulus package to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including suspending electricity and water fees and freezing mortgage payments.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
The Group is working to ensure service continuity for local authorities, private and industrial customers in all the countries in which it manages water, sanitation and waste services. Preventive measures are in place to protect all its employees.
Global water industry braces for coronavirus pandemic
Many water utilities around the world have released their continuity plans to ensure the correct continuance of their services, including the treatment, distribution of drinking water and wastewater sanitation. A report by Olivia Tempest.
Veolia is getting organized following the decisions in several countries to take exceptional measures aimed at stopping the COVID-19 epidemic.
As the global COVID-19 crisis continues to develop and reports of bottled water shortages make headlines, the National Association of Water Companies, the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies issued this joint statement.
Toilet paper substitutes threaten to clog sewers amid Coronavirus pandemic
Xylem has published a statement detailing the company's global coronavirus actions:
- We are keeping close to events as they unfold in this fluid environment, taking action globally to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact.
- Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our colleagues, customers, partners and the communities we all serve. Our thoughts are with those directly affected by the virus, and those caring for loved ones.
- Through the coming period of uncertainty, we remain committed to helping our customers and partners continue to address water and resource management challenges in their communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains nearly 200 additional products—including 40 new products that went through the agency’s expedited review process. The agency also made key enhancements to the web-based list to improve its usefulness
Water services: heroes in the face of the pandemic
Looking back and looking for culprits may seem tempting, but honestly, I think this is not the time. No one is free to throw the first stone, and yet we can all pull our weight and help make this hardship we have to live last as little as possible. There are already countless recognitions to those who are in the front line of war: healthcare professionals, state forces and security forces, pharmacists, shopkeepers, delivery men and a long etcetera. But from here I also want to highlight the operators of water services, always essential but even more so these days. I am aware that throughout the world they are working to exhaustion to adopt measures in record time to guarantee the quality of supply and the safety of their employees.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17
The list of public utilities establishing a moratorium on service shutoffs is increasing, and about 90 cities and 57 million people in the U.S. will be protected from losing service during the ongoing pandemic.
De Nora is supporting the efforts of the Civil Protection Department by deploying four electrochlorination systems in northern Italy, near Milan. The electrochlorination systems produce sodium hypochlorite, a chlorine equivalent that is suitable for the disinfection of hard surfaces and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is effective against the proliferation of the COVID-19 virus
Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have published a technical brief on water, sanitation and health care waste management that is relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. The text supplements existing documents by referencing and summarizing the WHO guidance on this topic.
Read the full report: [Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus]