The Remarkable Story of Fresh Water Access

The Remarkable Story of Fresh Water Access

February 25, 2013 at 12:02am

Every day across the City of Algiers, families turn on their taps and out flows clean, fresh water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. This may seem unremarkable, but not long ago, this wasn’t the case.

The change is in large part the result of the supply of drinking water coming from the Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant – Africa’s first seawater desalination plant.

Using GE’s advanced ecomagination-certified reverse osmosis membranes to purify up to 200,000 cubic meters (53 million gallons) of seawater per day, the plant plays a major role in ensuring the 4 million residents of Algeria’s capital city enjoy access to secure, drought-proof supplies of water.

In fact, before the opening of the plant, which celebrated its fifth birthday on February 24th, there were persistent shortages of potable water across the city, with up to half the population only having access to clean water a couple days a week.

Not only has the plant helped alleviate this problem, the project is significant for two other reasons as well. First, it demonstrates the powerful impact that technology localization can have on improving people’s lives. Second, it shows what can be achieved as a result of public-private partnership. For example, the plant is 70% owned by GE and 30% owned by the government Algerian Energy Company.

We’re proud of the seventy Algerian employees of GE who are operating and maintaining the plant during the 25-year build-own-operate contract period.

For more on GE’s water desalination technologies and solutions, click here.

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