Estonian Water Work Association (EVEL)
specialists’ study visit to Latvia
15-17 April 2019
- Purpose of the study visit
The main purpose of the study visit was to get an overview of the current state of water management in Latvia and to gather information on the plans that Latvians have for the future.
Knowing before the visit that the European Union support measures for Latvians opened up in the same period as in Estonia, we intended to find out during the study visit what were the technical preferences of Latvian water companies during periods of large-scale investments and how they have solved the operation of these assets today. Also, the plan was to expand our horizons in national regulations and the overall structure of water management.
And, most importantly, in addition to gathering individual knowledge, intention was to use the group’s advantage, by initiating an immediate debate on what has been seen.
- Earlier study visits by EVEL:
Kingdom of Denmark – 2014
Kingdom of Belgium – 2015
Swiss Confederation – 2016
Portuguese Republic – 2017
Republic of Finland – 2017
Kingdom of Spain – 2018
- About Latvian water management sector in general
In the majority of Latvia, the water business is carried out by companies that have been created for that activity and belong to one or more local authorities.
Ownership is related to the service area, i.e. like in Estonia, a water company usually provides services in the area in which the municipality owns the company.
In general, technical solutions and day-to-day operations in the Estonian and Latvian water sectors are quite similar. The main differences can be seen in the use of manpower and handling of sludge. The number of employees per residents served is slightly higher in Latvia, due to the fact that the service areas of Estonian water companies have become larger than in Latvia in connection with the mergers taken place over the recent years. The tendency that in merging only some of the staff working in the merged water company is taken over causes a situation where the service areas expand, but the number of employees only increase slightly, if any.
It was also noticed that the Latvians use slightly simpler technology when it comes to automation and remote monitoring. This created a discussion within the group about whether sensors and automation, which are widely used in Estonia, would ensure continuity of service in the event of an interruption of electricity supply? In that case, simpler technology is an advantage. Similarly, the technology that is simpler does not need large-scale investments and further additional investments after becoming depreciated. In the wastewater treatment, classic flow-through treatment systems are prevalent in Latvia. Sequencing batch reactors that have become widely used in Estonia in recent years are not used.
The treatment of sewage sludge, which is a big concern in Estonia, has been solved in quite a simple way in Northern Latvia by directing all dewatered sewage sludge to agricultural digesters. From there on, the sludge handling becomes already a concern of the owner of a digester.
The effluent parameters are generally higher than in Estonia. In Latvian cities, the total phosphorus limit is 2 mg/l and even higher in smaller settlements.
In North Latvia, the same aquifers are used for the extraction of raw water as in Estonia and the requirements for drinking water are similar to those in Estonia.
Also, it was interesting to see that the roads in the settlements were in a better condition than the motorways.
- Day One – 15.04.2019
- Water company of the City of Valmiera – Valmieras Udens
The Valmiera Water Company provides water and sewerage services to the city of Valmiera with a population of approximately 22,000. The City of Valmiera is peculiar because the industries in the region have started building new apartment blocks to attract workforce. It is therefore an area where the population could start to increase.
The water company is active in several areas. In addition to water service, the company provides heat supply, offers laboratory services and carries out various construction works. The company had a turnover of 8 million euros last year and a profit of about 0.5 million. The largest share of the profit, approximately 30%, came from the external services unrelated to water and heat supply.
The company employs 38 employees.
The sludge with a dry matter content of 12% is handed over to the operator of a digester owned by the agricultural companies in the region.
The price for the service is 2.37 EUR/m3 which has remained unchanged for approximately 5 years.
- Water company of Smiltene region – Smiltene NKUP
Like Valmiera, the company is active in several areas of a utility sector. Besides the water service, urban maintenance and property management services are provided. In addition to the City of Smiltene, the service area of the Smiltene Water Company includes seven other areas around the city.
In order to demonstrate the development of water and sewage facilities in smaller regions, the water company introduced two different regions, one of which carried out extensive reconstruction work with a co-financing from the European Union, and the other that did not. In both regions, the wastewater treatment plants use stabilization ponds as a post-treatment stage.
Smiltene NKUP has established a single price of 2.82 EUR/m3 for the services provided in all service areas.
- Day Two – 16.04.2019
Water company of Cesis – Vinda
It was astonishing that although the company is constantly carrying out projects co-financed by the European Union, its own contribution in the projects has been financed by the water company itself and no loan has been taken. Plus, each year, the company pays small dividends (EUR11,500/years) to its owner.
The company employs 33 employees. Here, for the first time during the study visit, the topic of salaries paid in the sector was discussed. In the water company, the average net salary is 750 EUR/month. In addition, each employee is granted 5 weeks leave.
Given that Cesis is situated on the hills, there is no need to pump wastewater. All wastewater collected from the city is diverted to the main pumping station by means of gravity, and from there on, further pumped into the wastewater treatment plant.
Service tariff – 2.20 EUR/m3.
- Water company of Sigulda – SIA Saltavots
The whole group was amazed at how the company had managed to build such a beautiful office from an old water tower. Such notional objects present a very good image of the water sector, which is otherwise invisible.
Sigulda is known as a tourist area and therefore, does not face the problems typical to wastewater treatment plants having industrial customers.
Service tariff – 2.48 EUR/m3.
- Water company of Limbazi – SIA Limbažu Komunalserviss
The company provides water and sewage services to the City of Limbazi and 6 settlements around the city. The city has a total of ca 7,500 residents.
The company employs 33 employees. In addition to water and sewage services, the company provides urban maintenance services. This also explains the large number of employees in the company. Major problems are related to the local dairy industry, whose pre-treatment works have been fully depreciated and which therefore is discharging wastewater to the water company’s domestic wastewater treatment plant at significantly higher concentrations than the treatment plant can take. In the past, a “symbolic” fine has been imposed on the customer, but soon, a claim for the actual costs will be issued. The company uses water towers to direct drinking water to consumers, which help to even up consumption peaks while also being cost-effective.
It was also interesting to see that the interior piping at the second level booster pump station had been made of PE pipes.
Estonian Water Works Association
Lauri Lagle – Engineering Adviser, email@example.com, ph +372 51 22 587
BALTIC WATER WORKS CONFERENCE 2018
From May 23 to 25, 2018 another Baltic Conference was held, this time organized in Palanga, Lithuania, at the hotel “Vanagupe”, which was already familiar from the past.
The main topics discussed at this conference included the drinking water risk assessment, changes in the legislation, sludge treatment, and sharing of experiences in the operation of water and wastewater networks.
On the first day, May 23, the sponsored product presentations were given.
- Introduction to EurEau. By Bruno Tisserand, President of the EurEau.
Bruno Tisserand gave an overview of the EurEau as an organization and introduced the lobbying activities of the water business at the European level.
EurEau is a pan-European umbrella organization, representing water and wastewater operators from both the public and the private sectors. The greatest strengths of the organization include its competent members and the network of nearly 200 experts.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yl-K-W5fWi6o5OGp3NPZeiYhDOLlR5Lk
- Implement the best practice in waterworks and change to the best water microbiology monitoring technology! By Gints Rotčenkovs, SnapTest.LV SIA. LV
Latvian company Snap Test introduced rapid tests for drinking water. Their product range has rapid tests for microbiology and chemical compounds.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xaHXSUWGATn1cKRLNXPrEt6GpTM-9l5y
- Intelligent Network Management of Water Utilities. By Augustinas Daugilis, UAB Hnit-Baltic. LT
The representative of Hnit-Baltic presented his speech on the modern possibilities to manage the water company’s assets in a united platform, which combines information from different databases. Together with the GIS solutions and network monitoring equipment, the water company will be provided with the possibilities for an intelligent network management. Complex asset management program allows to carry out daily network monitoring. As an additional feature, the company can use a customer module, allowing to prepare the connection offer to the customer-to-be instantly, by using the input from the GIS and the unit costs from previous works. In Estonia, the platform users include for example Elveso, Emajõe Veevärk, Järve Biopuhastus, Haapsalu Veevärk, etc.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CP1-VT-PU23mlluW38yV-DYcoLRmeX2Z
- Alfa Laval dewatering equipment. By Aleksandrs Vdovins, Alfa Laval. LT
Alfa Laval introduced their sludge centrifuges, but the company’s product range is significantly wider – for example, they also produce heat exchangers. When asked what is the dry matter percentage of the centrifuged sludge, then a staggering range of 40-50% was mentioned. After presenting a clarifying question, it was explained that the result to be achieved is strongly dependant on the raw material, and for the sewage sludge the results will rather remain within the 20% limit. In addition, Alfa Laval is issuing to its clients information about the size of their environmental footprint. This is a new trend, allowing to calculate the ecological footprint that the wastewater treatment has on the environment.
A question was raised ̶ Whether the very modern technological solutions still really are environmentally sustainable?!
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mlo3GfWr4Y3wRX-gBxX_l7HIKACAhYpj
- High quality valves, hydrants and accessories for drinking water systems. Product news. By Jurgis Trams, AVK International AS. EE
AVK’s product range certainly is impressive. Therefore, this time their presentation focused on the threadless connection systems for water pipes. The products are corrosion-resistant and quick to fit. The principle is that it must be possible to dismantle the fitting later. This is enabled with the use of safety retainer, which can be easily fitted and later removed.
The company had brought a stand where everyone got to try fitting the AVK’s threadless connection system on a plastic pipe, which caused a lot of excitement. It was a blind contest with working area being covered and not possible to see the work process. It took 56 seconds for the two young ladies to win the contest. And unfortunately, it took twice as much for the writer of this summary to do it.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1h1k3WhYntHZD3dHBg4EaLzBJ_g2mLbdy
- Combiflex ̶ An innovative system for pipe cross sections. By Erik Johnsen, HAWLE/Industek LT
For their presentation, Hawle had selected from its product range Combiflex valves, where the so-called pipe cross is no longer used. All of the branch valves are connected into one product.
This kind of complex products allow to save time on installation, which is especially critical when working in urban spaces. Although the price of a complex product itself, when compared to every single product, will be higher, the final cost of the work will be significantly cheaper, due to the shorter time spent on the installation works.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V9-8gqb0iEuoqMFzXcENLNSSJkDQOdDr
- Modern sewer cleaning and diagnostics equipment for various needs and opportunities. By Tomas Samulionis, Vaidotas Milaknis, UAB “ALWARK”. LT
The company is focused on providing customers with a very wide-scale machinery required in the public utility services, starting from the moment the machine is sold until the end of its life cycle. Company’s wide maintenance network allows for quick response in any of the Baltic State regions.
Link to presentations:
- Water network monitoring 4.0: Water losses & network modelling. By Andres Minn, Lokaator OÜ. EE
Lokaator presented their speech on the principles of leakage detection on the water network. Very important is the noise, which gives much more information about the water network than we have been used to think. The most effective tool for measuring the noise, as well as all the other parameters, is the universal VLM sensor, which -̶ in addition to specifying the flow volume ̶ allows the water company to do the online consumption and leakage monitoring.
The range of equipment offered by Lokaator also includes various wastewater meters, online water meters, etc. Other new products offered include the QUA-VAC vacuum sewage system solutions.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O2dCvP5JBN_VehvX7cmtUESRWrLl48Pz
- Comparative analysis of different types of equipment for sludge dewatering exploitation characteristics based on practical results. By Gennady Baklanov, UAB “Ekoton Eu”. LT
In their presentation, Ekoton introduced the wastewater treatment equipment they produce, with a focus on dewatering equipment. The new product offered by the company, called degrader, has significant advantages in comparison with ordinary decanters, both in terms of the energy and the polymer consumption.
- ABB Solutions for Water and Wastewater in Baltics. By Mart Tuuling, ABB AS. EE
ABB’s presentation introduced the possibility of involving ABB in the development of water and wastewater solutions already during the planning process. Although ABB mainly focuses on the electricity and automation works, the company also has an expertise, from the experience gained from their existing works, to provide their client with a valuable guidance on building the water and wastewater systems, reg. both the selection of equipment and how to make the work more functional.
As we know, nowadays, most of the water and wastewater equipment is connected with an automation and the interaction between the devices takes place via SCADA. This is an area where one will certainly come across with ABB.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FRzH8FV3OaS3haMyLXBqNIMixFucCvMq
On the second day, May 24, a plenary session with the presentations was held.
- Drinking water supply and wastewater management services: Legislation changes and future perspectives. By Judita Vaišnorienė, Ministry of Environment, Pollution Prevention Department, Water Policy Division, Chief Specialist. Lithuania
The representative of the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment gave her speech on the legislation and future perspectives of the Lithuanian water management. Similarly to Estonia, the financial resources required for the development of the sector come from three sources ̶ EU funding, plus national and local budgets.
Over the 2000-2017 budgetary period, the EU support through the Cohesion Fund to the development of the Lithuanian water and wastewater sector amounted to ca EUR 1,2 billion.
The state is guiding water quality and requirements set for the agglomerations by means of legislation. The responsibility of a local government is to plan the developments and ensure the availability of the service through the PWSS development plans. It remains for the water companies to arrange the individual solutions.
The presentation revealed that the percentage of residents connected to drinking water supply and wastewater network in the country, for the agglomerations of 2,000 p.e. and more, is 81% and 73%, respectively (2016 data). There are total of 48 agglomerations of 2,000 p.e. and more in Lithuania.
- Presentation by “Evopipes Radius”. By Marius Rakauskas. “Evopipes Radius LT”. Lithuania
Evopipes introduced their products.
Links to presentations:
- Implementation of Water Safety plans in Latvia. By Janis Rubulis, Dr.Sc.ing., Senior Researcher, Associated Professor, Riga Technical University, Water research laboratory. Latvia
The presentation was made on the implementation of risk assessment for drinking water, which currently is voluntary, pursuant to the European Directive. The speaker considered that with the new directive, the risk assessment shall be made obligatory for all the water undertakers over the next ca 2 years.
The message was: making a risk assessment is simple, do not be afraid of it.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yZop0GVF1UGvvidw1k-QSw3wPCiHBssm
- Estonia’s experience: Management plan for sewage sludge in Estonia. Economical approaches. Decisions about better technologies. By Martin Zimmer, OÜ Järve Biopuhastus. Estonia
Martin introduced Estonia’s experience in sewage sludge management.
Dewatered sewage sludge makes ca 0.7% of the total waste annually produced in Estonia.
Estonia is currently at a crossroad when it comes to handling of and giving value to sewage sludge, and needs to decide whether to promote composting, incineration, drying, or a combination of all these solutions. Once the solution/solutions are agreed, the next is to solve the question of who should deal with the sludge – is it a water company, a waste management company, or a waste management centre? So far, the obstacle to the creation of unified waste management centres has been the water companies’ unwillingness to pay the gate fee, which would cover the everyday running expenses of such centre. The presentation focussed more on the large water companies.
It also introduced the current situation and outlooks of OÜ Järve Biopuhastus.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MDPT39-7th3S5xqNruOEK62Nx_cPC8ci
- Status and Challenges of Holes in Water Infrastructure. By Dr. Mindaugas Rimeika, Professor, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Department of Environment Protection and Water Engineering. Lithuania
The speaker delivered presentation on the situation with leaks and infiltration issues in Lithuania. The average annual volume of unsold water in Lithuania is 23% or 29 million m3/year, which equals to the annual water consumption of the cities of Kaunas and Klaipeda. There are several reasons behind this figure, but the main reason is related to the high cost of leakage repair. It was revealed that while the leakage repair in densely populated areas is economically feasible, it is not so outside the cities. Only in 8 Lithuanian water companies, the volume of unsold water remains under 20%.
The other serious concern is the high infiltration rate ̶ the average figure for Lithuania is 43%, which means an additional 71 million m3 of water per year.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WlHGDH5J1zvW1v04Dp51eb2VqNqsghDh
- The Challenges and Success Stories of Industrial Waste Water Treatment. By Sandis Dejus, M.Sc.ing., Ph.D. Researcher, Riga Technical University, Water research laboratory. Latvia
The presentation discussed various options for treating the industrial wastewater and introduced the activities carried out within the BEST project (focussing on the industrial wastewater studies) by INTERREG (project partners also include Riga Technical University and EVEL).
To sum up, there are three ways for handling the industrial wastewater:
Firstly, by treating the industrial wastewater at the company site (industry’s own treatment works) and then discharging into the environment;
Secondly, by pretreating the industrial wastewater at the company site and then directing to the municipal wastewater treatment plant for further treatment;
Thirdly, by treating the wastewater at the company site and then redirecting to the process.
The industrial treatment works can remove, both separately and as combined, solid particles, organic matter, nutrients, as well as hazardous substances.
The presentation raised several questions, such as: Which is more hazardous to the environment ̶ a stable industrial wastewater or a domestic wastewater? Whether more pharmaceutical residues are discharged to the sewer from the households or from the pharmaceutical industry?
An intriguing question was raised regarding the possible location for the industrial pretreatment plant. Whether to give preference to the industry’s own territory, with the operating team being provided by the industry, or whether to consider building a pretreatment plant on the territory of the municipal wastewater treatment plan, using the same operating team at both plants? The preferred location would be the territory of a municipal wastewater treatment plant because it already has a protection zone.
- Vocational Training Experience of Water Treatment Operators in Järvamaa Vocational Training Centre. By Yemi Ayankunle, OÜ Türi Water. Estonia.
Yemi spoke about the apprenticeship training for water operators provided in Järvamaa Vocational Training Centre.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oxW71d_d6rANjyV2AoW4sgT6-wUOc2xB
- EurEau’s views on the DWD proposal. By Bruno Tisserand, President of the EurEau.
The initiative for changing the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) came from the citizens of the EU. With the Right2Water initiative campaigns, ca 1.9 million signatures were collected, which imposed on the European Parliament the obligation of initiating the amendments to the DWD.
The key points of the initiative concern the quality parameters, which have now been in force for ca 20 years. The draft is intended to increase the frequency of sampling, however, at the same time, it is possible reduce that by preparing a risk assessment to this end. In addition, the directive provides for a clearer division of responsibilities among the state, the water companies and the customers.
Bruno pointed out an interesting fact, that the restaurants in Brussels do not serve tap water for drinking. Even if asked explicitly, the request for tap water remains unfulfilled. The reason being that the restaurants do not take the responsibility for the quality of tap water and therefore, do not serve it to their customers.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sQfp1AOEM2qR5iQPI931aYKnNWBMrXro
- Advanced Ozone Technologies for Odor Control and Disinfection for the Water Companies. By Dr. Arvydas Stončius, Airplus1 Lituanica. Lithuania
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1voPdnuP9PZ-Im2NqsfZp7WvhAH4bMqa3
- Water Metering Practices from Madona Water Company. By Deniss Kovtuns, Madona water company. Latvia
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DSY46GXfK7_mOEdx0YakSocDIdRv8yjr
- Application of different methods of sludge treatment in biogas production technologies. By Aleksejus Timofejevas. Lithuania
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1d4W-79TkCCfReYEU2WnCwDHgx4btWFuu
- Lithuanian hydrogeological atlas. By Dr. Jonas Satkūnas, Lithuanian Geological Survey. Lithuania
The presentation was delivered on the hydrogeological conditions in Lithuania. A very accurate hydrogeological map has been prepared for the whole of Lithuania. The presentation pointed out a thought-provoking information regarding the rising soil water levels that may begin to affect the stability of the underground water and sewer facilities.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=15tk5GNrWlgEdU_Hdt8FWxs_ReX2HhpUj
- Experience of the water company “Klaipedos Vanduo” in water supply network cleaning. The usage of vacuum excavator in network maintenance works. By Richard Bolz, AB “Klaipėdos vanduo”. Lithuania
The water company from Klaipeda introduced the air-scouring method used in the company for cleaning the pipes and the vacuum excavation technology.
- 110 years of Palanga Water Supply System. Lithuania
The speaker introduced the 110 years of history of the water company in Palanga and gave an overview of the challenges that the company faces today.
Link to presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19o7IomUGzvCZl45ZhKl6hShjOkUbTHc3
EVEL engineering adviser
Educational lifelong learning programme for WWT operators in Estonia
Since Estonia’s accession to the European Union ca 1 billion euros have been allocated to the local water management sector. This size of investments is an indication of how modern and automated is the sector overall.
Considering the degree of automation today, some of the water and wastewater treatment plants could be operated via smartphone. This is a challenge leaving no one indifferent. However, despite the big leap in development, people working in this sector are still the same, with the same knowledge, and young enthusiastic people do not feel much urge to join the sector.
A study commissioned by the Ministry of Environment on the wastewater treatment plants built with EU support revealed the sad fact that despite the top-notch equipment and automation the results remain inadequate without a proper operator.
“It’s not that once we built it – that’s it. What about the future? We should be also able to keep it running. What is to be done then? The operator should be the first to understand that something is wrong. So, he will have a look at it, examine, and then tell the engineer there is probably something wrong”, Jaak Jaaku, professor in microbiology tells. This kind of approach enhances the role of the operator’s profession.
To increase the level of knowledge in plant operating, a special two-year study program for operators was launched in Järvamaa Vocational Training Centre (JKHK) in September 2017. The study program was prepared jointly by the Estonian Water Works Association (EVEL) and JKHK. Ivar Kohjus, the leading teacher in JKHK and one of the authors of the program, says 20% of the learning process takes place in the classroom and the rest is made up of a practice in a company. Over this two-year period, the students will have over ten different lecturers. The studies will culminate in a vocational examination and the prize for successfully passing the courses is a professional certificate that meets the European professional standards.
Even though the whole program today is taught in Estonian, there is also one student from Nigeria among the first 24 students, who is doing pretty well at Estonian.
“We have a vision – we want to create an international centre of excellence for water treatment operating in Järvamaa Vocational Training Centre. The basic training courses taken within the framework of the vocational training must be followed by a systematic further training. We want to gather everything in one centre, because this way we can be more effective,” Managing Director of EVEL Vahur Tarkmees said.
Next group of students will start their water operator studies in autumn 2018.
Ivar Kohjus Lauri Lagle
Leading Teacher, JKHK Engineering Adviser, EVEL
Mob: +372 525 5265 Mob: +372 51 22 587
The results of research project Development of strategies towards a sustainable water sector are found on the next link:
6-10.11.2017 Estonian Water Works Association’s (EVEL) Study Tour to Portugal:
Summary of Study Tour is HERE.
22 March 2017
Estonian water companies taking their knowledge of water management to Africa
On the conference organized today in the event of the international World Water Day, the Estonian Water Works Association (EVEL) announced the launch of a cooperation project with the NGO Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE), which aims to develop and implement a water education program in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. In the coming weeks, the project will produce an expert opinion and based on the results of that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment will decide on their possible support to the project.
„Aim of this project is to change the Nigerians’ attitudes towards water consumption, to teach them how to use water more sparingly, how to reduce pollution, and to promote the importance of water systems among various target groups, but especially at schools,” Managing Director of EVEL, Vahur Tarkmees explained. „EVEL also contributes its time, knowledge, skills and expertise to this project; I can see an opportunity here also for the Estonian construction companies, consultancy and IT companies who could export their know-how to the region with the fastest growing population in the world.“
Above all, the Estonian assistance is expected in the development of the particular education program and methodology, in finding the teachers and preparing the study materials. To raise the awareness, the program hopes to use as many e-solutions as possible – videos, smart solutions, interactive web-based learning – to attract the attention of young people.
Initially, EVEL anticipates a four-years project with a total cost of approximately EUR 500,000. According to Vahur Tarkmees a local NGO PAVE has promised to finance 30% of this, the rest of the sum is expected to be found with the help of ministries and sponsors, not precluding also the involvement of an external assistance.
Today, the population of Nigeria is 182 million inhabitants, by 2050, this number if expected to increase to nearly 400 million people. Need for protecting the country’s groundwater resources has increased drastically, due to the increasing population, climate change, urbanisation and shortage of energy, but the population’s awareness about the risks in water management is low.
EVEL’s expert forum recently came back from its first mission to Nigeria, financed from the Development Cooperation funds provided by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Aim of that mission was to collect locally information about the condition and management of the existing water infrastructure, and people’s attitudes towards the implementation of the education program, in order to make the recommendations.
„In the coming weeks, the project will produce an expert opinion based on the collected data, which will confirm whether our skills and resources are sufficient to provide assistance to Nigeria. What we saw there was definitely promising – today, all the stakeholders clearly have the will and physical readiness to start the program,“ member of the EVEL’s expert group participating in the mission, lecturer and doctoral research fellow from Tallinn University of Applied Sciences Erki Lember sätted.
„This is the first official cooperation project between Estonia and Nigeria. If this proves successful, it may become a platform for the sectoral cooperation and a success story for Estonia, making even stronger the image of Estonia as an e-country in the world,” Vahur Tarkmees said.
News about the Estonian water companies’ mission was reflected also in the Nigerian media:
Estonian Waterworks Association (www.evel.ee), EVEL, is a nation-wide voluntary association of water companies, providing service through the public water supply and sewerage system, and other companies related to the same field of activity, established in 1995. EVEL represents 47 water companies and 30 water-related companies.
Erki Lember, Member of the EVEL expert group
Ph: 5358 5360 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vahur Tarkmees, Managing Director of EVEL
Ph: +372 530 92 153; e-mail: email@example.com
Groups seek to improve water education in schools, communities
Tagged the “Nigeria Water Education for Schools and Communities Programme”, the scheme also aims to facilitate a new water-use ethic in Nigeria. The promoters likewise intend to build and instal water and sanitation infrastructures in selected needy schools and communities.
Introducing the project to a group of civil society operatives on Tuesday, March 14 2017 in Lagos, president of PAVE, Anthony Johnson Akpan, disclosed that the programme would be a strategic entry point to:
- Develop awareness about Water Sector reform and policy issues in Nigeria;
- Develop awareness of water related environmental issues;
- Develop knowledge and skills necessary to analyse the issues and understanding why people view and use water in particular ways;
- Examine attitudes, values, and behaviours regarding consumption of water in cities;
- Identify the underlying causes of current water oriented problems in Nigerian cities;
- Support informed decision-making by the community that could affect the quality of their lives with respect to water;
- Participate actively in the sustainable management of their water environment; and,
- Evaluate and propose actions that will achieve effective water related solutions in support of water resources management.
According to him, the project is being guided by the following objectives:
- Publications: To produce and publish creative and informative materials to meet the needs identified through research.
- Instruction and Training: To provide leadership and instruction to ensure that materials and services are fully utilised, and to foster grass-roots participants in their capacities to educate others.
- Networking and Partnerships: To form partnerships with organisations to enhance awareness, distribution, and use of materials and services.
- Evaluation: To improve the programme through an aggressive, ongoing, and multifaceted evaluation programme.
- Recognition: To seek ways to acknowledge and recognise people and organisations for their contributions to water education.
- Installation of Infrastructure: The programme will also be complemented with the building and installation of water and sanitation infrastructures in selected needy schools and communities.
The scope of the pilot project entails a state in each of the six geo-political zones in the country, while the time frame is four years, with the possibility of a scale-up to other states in the federation.
While PAVE was established to promoteg sustainable development through research, documentation, policy dialogues, workshops, advocacy and consultancy services, EVEL is a nationwide voluntary association of companies providing the service of public water supply and sewerage and other business operators. The Estonian body comprises 47 water companies and 30 companies related to the field of water management.
Read original article HERE.
Estonian Water Works Association (EVEL) is carrying out a project “Site Inspection on the Feasibility of the ‘Development and Implementation of the Nigeria Water Education’ program”.
Aim of the project is to carry out preparatory activities for the development and potential launch of water education program in Nigeria. During the visit, experts from EVEL Vahur Värk (project manager and partner in Entec Eesti OÜ) and Erki Lember (lecturer from Tallinn University of Applied Sciences) in cooperation with the Nigerian experts will examine the feasibility of the water education program in the country. The visit will result in an expert opinion on the potential realisation of the development program. Expert opinion contains views, attitudes and interest, collected from the stakeholders in various program areas (Lagos, Uyo and Abuja), towards the implementation of the program. At the same time, the project examines the condition and management of the existing water infrastructure, draws conclusions and makes recommendations regarding the support and implementation of the education program for the national donors in Estonia. Visit to Nigeria will be organized from 05th to 16th of March 2017. A summary of the visit will be available on the international World Water Day event organized on the 22nd of March 2017 at the Energy Discovery Centre in Tallinn.
The total cost of the project EUR 15,000 is financed from the Development Cooperation funds provided by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Cooperation partners of the project include Tallinn University of Applied Sciences, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and NGO Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE).
Vahur Tarkmees, Managing Director of EVEL
Ph: +372 530 92 153; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 November 2016
EVEL: Estonian children need better environmental education
Last night, the Estonian Waterworks Association (EVEL) sent to the new coalition government proposals with regards to the environment-related problems and areas that would need to be addressed in particular during the Estonian EU presidency period. For example, protection of drinking water, surface water and ground water requires an implementation of a legislative framework that is more specific and forward-looking. The government could also contribute more to the environmental education given to children, if we wish to preserve the clean living environment in Estonia.
“Increasing the environmental awareness must start from the early years, already from a kindergarten”, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Waterworks Association and Member of the Board of Matsalu Veevärk AS (Matsalu Waterworks) Hans Liibek said. “Children often set the best example for their parents. Water companies alone cannot ensure the living and environmental quality conditions if we only fight the consequences of pollution at the drinking water and wastewater treatment works. We need to understand that the water companies are not the polluters. Important is to convince the society that the drinking water is a limited resource that should not be taken for granted. In order to deliver this message, a greater emphasis must be placed on the development and implementation of national study programs in kindergartens and schools”.
“The key to the protection of drinking water, surface water and ground water is a specific legislative framework that we think should in the future follow the ‘polluter pays’ principle,” Managing Director of the Estonian Waterworks Association Vahur Tarkmees said. “Fighting the pollutants only at the urban wastewater treatment works is not sustainable nor efficient. Therefore, EVEL proposes to set and apply national control over the pollutants already at the source of their delivery, usage and origin”.
According to Vahur Tarkmees, the heads of state need to recognize in the reality that the water services are of vital importance, similarly to, for example, medicine. “Unfortunately, today the principle holds as if there is no problem as long as the clean water keeps running from the tap. However, current regulations do not ensure the sustainability of a high-quality water service in 10 years run”, Tarkmees admitted. “For instance, the majority of large-scale investments of this sector in the post-soviet period have been financed from the European Union Structural Funds, which are starting to run out now. For this money, ca ¾ of the medium-sized water companies have renewed their infrastructures. What next, where to get money to solve unexpected crisis situations? Today, most of the water companies are not capable for this and the current legislation does not allow them to collect money for this, either”.
Besides the proposals regarding the sustainability of the local drinking and wastewater service, EVEL has also phrased the priority areas for the upcoming EU presidency period that would allow Estonia to make its contribution to and leave a record in achieving the desired outcome in the priority areas set by the European Council:
1. Marine environment, water and waste
a. Create a necessary legislative framework for so-called green phosphorus: create incentives for the interaction between the recovered phosphorus and the market. Preparing a phosphorus policy framework to increase the phosphorus recovery will promote the innovation, improve the market conditions and competitiveness of the European Union companies, and promote the sustainability in the areas concerning the fertilizers, food, water and waste (for more, please refer to THIS).
b. Ensure the control of micropollutants at the source of their origin: formulate the legislation based on the control at source approach, precautionary principle and the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Correct application of the control at source approach will help to move towards the real circular economy (for more, please refer to THIS).
2. Mineral resources and environmental management
a. Develop the Commission’s initiative on promoting the circular economy: including the promotion of sewage sludge treatment, reuse of phosphorus and energy, and water recovery. Merely the wastewater in the whole water industry contains valuable resources – energy and phosphorus, nitrogen and other valuable nutrients, which can be all recycled and reused in the circular economy, thus supporting the economic growth and job creation (for more, please refer to THIS).
b. Create mechanisms that will ensure available, accessible, affordable, acceptable and safe water and wastewater service in every European Union member state. Only this way we will ensure the human right to water and sanitation and leave a clean and sustainable environment for the generations to come (for more, please refer to THIS).
3. Forestry, environmental protection and fisheries
a. Promote the application of environmental standards on the approval of chemicals: instead of the end-of-pipe treatment, control on chemicals needs to be established at the source of their origin. Increased competitiveness of the European water industry will promote the innovation, job creation and economic growth in Europe, since the technological etc. innovations created by the water companies get exported also outside (for more, please refer to THIS).
4. Digital topics
a. Ensure and promote efficient, secure and innovative communication between the water companies, their customers and other stakeholders. Communication is essential in order to shape a common understanding of the priorities and needs. By making the relevant key information comparable and available we will ensure a high-quality, sustainable and affordable water service (for more, please refer to THIS).
5. Climate and radiation
a. Coordinate the water industry’s endeavors, where possible, with measures applied in other sectors to reduce the impact of climate change and adapt to the consequences of climate change, by using the EU and national policies to support this. For the water industry, climate change will remain a serious challenge, and we need to aim to reduce its impacts and adapt to its consequences, while keeping the costs under control (for more, please refer to THIS).
Estonian Waterworks Association (www.evel.ee), EVEL, is a nation-wide voluntary association of water companies, providing service through the public water supply and sewerage system, and other companies related to the same field of activity, established in 1995. EVEL represents 47 water companies and 28 water-related companies. Water companies that are members of EVEL provide service to more than 90% of public water supply and sewerage service customers in Estonia.
Vahur Tarkmees, Managing Director of EVEL
Ph: +372 530 92 153; e-mail: email@example.com
Silvia Kübar, Powerhouse Communications
Ph: +372 5626 9336