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Water Project of the Year

For the water project, commissioned during 2018, that shows the greatest innovation in terms of optimising its physical or environmental footprint.

Green Meadows Water Treatment Plant, USA

What is it?

A new 63,500m3/d water treatment plant in Lee County, Florida. It replaces the ageing lime softening plant which had been serving the area until the new facility was commissioned.

Who is involved?

Jacobs managed the project and provided the overall design, with assistance from RKS Consulting Engineers on the electrical front and Johnson Engineering Inc. for wells and civil engineering. Garney Construction was responsible for works.

What makes it special?

In a notoriously water-stressed region, the new facility provides south-west Florida with an innovative, sustainable water supply system, combining new and existing large-scale treatment technologies.

The plant manages to ably deal with the complexity of being is fed by 34 groundwater wells drilled into three different aquifers, including a brackish one for which a reverse osmosis desalination process is included in the WTP. This technology is combined with an innovative ion exchange system to remove iron, hardness and organics from a shallow freshwater aquifer; and fresh water blending using a third aquifer source, degasification, disinfection and finished water chemical addition.


This groundbreaking melding of different solutions under one roof not only provides the county with high-quality water but also reduces operational costs by 60% compared to the old plant. The facility has been supplying an estimated 30,000 homes and businesses in the south Lee County since operation started in August 2018, including the Southwest Florida International Airport and Florida Gulf Coast University.


Al Wajid Water Project, Saudi Arabia

What is it?

A 68,000m3/d water treatment and supply system taking water from aquifers in the Rub’ al-Khali desert to Abha city and surrounding areas in south-western Saudi Arabia, comprising more than 355km of pipeline, several pumping stations, storage tanks and a new RO brackish desalination plant.

Who is involved?

The project was delivered by a team of Saudi contractors for the country’s National Water Company (NWC). Process equipment came from Veolia Water Technologies; pumps and valves were provided by Torishima, KSB, Clarke and ROSS Valves; most electrics were manufactured by ABB and Schneider Electric.

What makes it special?

This ambitious project addresses major water scarcity challenges in the south-west of Saudi Arabia by tapping into aquifers over two hundred miles away in the world’s largest sand desert, a colossal scale for a water supply project. Over 375,000 people will benefit from this influx of fresh water into their taps.

The project involved the tight management of numerous construction lines to achieve the successful delivery of such a major construction programme, including a brand-new RO plant for the treatment of brackish water from the 28 desert wells to the highest international quality standards. The transmission pipeline laid for the project travels through desert and mountainous areas, lifting the water 450m through two lifting stations along the way. The water will end its long journey in Abha’s newly-built strategic reservoirs, which have a combined capacity of 240,000m3.


In an effort to curb carbon emissions, the SCADA system, control system and valves along the transmission network and pumping stations are entirely powered by the desert’s abundant sunlight, a vital achievement in the Kingdom as national energy plans shift decisively toward renewable energy sources and away from vital fossil fuels.

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