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Water Project of the Year

For the water project, commissioned during 2022, that shows the greatest innovation in terms of optimising its physical or environmental footprint.

Shortlisted Nominees


Dumai City WTP, Indonesia

What is it?

An IDR107 billion ($7 million), 3,000m3/d upgrade to the conventional Dumai City Water Treatment Plant on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, using nanofiltration to treat water for potable purposes from the local Masjid River.

Who is involved?

The plant was commissioned by local utility PDAM Dumai. The hollow fibre nanofiltration system was supplied by NX Filtration, under the auspices of main contractor PT Bayu Surya Konstruksi.

What makes it special?

By using nanofiltration to remove colour and pollutants from the water, the upgrade turned the river water supply from an undrinkable and potentially dangerous source into a crystal-clear and safe drinking water supply. Eliminating over 99% of colour in the water means it can be chlorinated risk-free, without the worry of turning colour compounds into potentially carcinogenic trihalomethanes.

Deploying a single, robust membrane step avoids the need for pre-treatment and reduces the amount of chemicals required for treatment by as much as 85% compared to alternative processes. Reducing opex to just $0.19/m3 and energy consumption to 0.3kWh/m3 made the project a low-cost and low-footprint solution in a financially and environmentally sensitive part of the world.


The project stands as a model for a host of countries where coloured water is an issue. By improving water sources for the population and strengthening the operational performance of water service providers while maintaining a sustainable environment, the plant achieved environmental benefits that helped it secure the financial support of the World Bank through its National Urban Water Supply Program.


The Fifth Line to Jerusalem, Israel

What is it?

A NIS2.5 billion ($690 million), six-year project water transmission line replacing a system launched in 1994. With an eventual capacity of approximately 450 million cubic metres a year, the system will multiply the amount of desalinated water sent to Jerusalem nine-fold, and secure the water supply to the city and its surrounding areas until 2050.

Who is involved?

The system was built by Israeli state water company Mekorot through its subsidiary EMS Mekorot Projects. Austria’s Strabag was a key design/build contractor, while KSB and EMS provided pumps.

What makes it special?

In an arduous feat of engineering, the water is transported via a 13km tunnel drilled through a mountain, raising water 900 metres while avoiding environmental impact on the surface environment, protecting the Jerusalem Forest – the holy city’s ‘green lung’. At the same time, the replacement of old complex supply systems with a single straight tunnel significantly reduces pressure requirements and pumping energy, saving some $1 million a year in operating costs.

The massive increase in water transportation capacity means the city of Jerusalem and other communities in the region are now able to rely 100% on desalinated water, preserving water resources and boosting water security at a time when climate change and growing populations mean water is more precious than ever.


The entire project was designed and built with digital operations in mind. Advanced pumping controls allow for optimisation of pressure and network control, while the laying of fibre optic cable during construction means the water project brings benefits to the national communication network and predictive maintenance capabilities.


Jiaxing Drinking Water Upgrade, China

What is it?

The largest nanofiltration (NF) drinking water plant in the world, deploying microfiltration (MF) as well as nanofiltration in a radical overhaul of an existing treatment plant. The project completed in 2022 comprised 300,000m3/d of capacity, with a second stage expected to start construction this year. The total cost of the two stages will reach RMB938 million ($136 million).

Who is involved?

The project was delivered by engineering, procurement and construction contractor Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute (SMEDI) for its client, Jiaxing Water Co., which owns and operates the facility. Tianjian Water was responsible for equipment installation, while NF membranes were provided by DuPont (83%) and Veolia (17%) and MF membranes by Pall.

What makes it special?

The project was the first to couple MF and NF in the Chinese municipal market, ensuring system security and reliability in an environment of uncertain raw water quality. The compact design eliminated intermediate water takes, supply pumps and filters, enhancing energy savings and resulting in a compact physical footprint that reduced land requirements by 60% and capital cost by 15%.

The innovative nanofiltration system incorporates a concentrate recirculation process to maintain an optimum flow velocity across membranes, greatly reducing fouling. Meanwhile, the ability for each of the three stages of the process to flush and discharge separately reduces down time and the amount of cleaning chemicals needed while extending the lifetime of membranes significantly.


The incorporation of DuPont’s nanofiltration membranes specifically designed to address pollutants in municipal drinking water sources allowed the project to unlock a new raw water source from the Qiandao Lake, boosting Jiaxing’s water security and offering a new model for water supply for China’s growing population.


Los Angeles Reservoir UV Plant, USA

What is it?

An ultraviolet (UV) disinfection plant in a valley north of Hollywood hills. The nation’s second-largest UV disinfection facility ever, it cost $123 million to build and came online in January 2022. Taking water from the LA Reservoir, the plant treats an average of 200-300MGD (757,000-1,135,500m3/d) before it is supplied to over 4 million Angelenos.

Who is involved?

Staff at the LA Department of Water and Power spent more than 280,000 man-hours planning, designing, and constructing the facility. Consultants Arcadis supported the project while contractor Steve P. Rados Inc was responsible for construction. Calgon Carbon (now a part of De Nora Water Technologies) supplied the UV reactors. The engineering of the treatment process was reviewed and approved by the California State Division of Drinking Water.

What makes it special?

The plant brings the LADWP into full compliance with some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent water quality standards. Despite the most critical activities – including testing, start-up and commissioning- taking place in the midst of a pandemic, the project was completed on schedule. By securing state revolving fund loans, LADWP saved ratepayers over $16.5 million in financing costs.

The state-of-the-art plant houses fifteen 48-inch UV reactors, five seismic resiliency vaults, fifty large valves, a 3-leg flow control system, and a 2,500-kilowatt backup diesel generator, making it a flexible and secure part of the crucial water network. It also utilises a new bacteriophage for pathogen control, reducing maintenance hours and decreasing energy usage by 25%.


California’s natural beauty masks a landscape characterised by seismicity and scarcity. With multiple backup power supplies, flexible trunk line joints, and a sophisticated network of controls and mechanical systems, the LARUVDP operates 24/7, rain or shine, power or no power, quake or no quake.


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