Blog  /  October 2017  /  Q3 2017 Regional Roundup: Part 2/3

Blog Post Teaser

This blog series examines major trends and newsworthy events that occurred in the US water industry during the third quarter of 2017.  The second part of the series focuses on activity within the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and South regions of the US.  Check back tomorrow for part three of the series, which will cover the Midwest/Great Lakes and Central Plains regions, as well as grant and funding information related to the US water industry.

 

NEW ENGLAND

The New England region consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

  • During the third quarter of 2017, Massachusetts and New York accounted for more than two-thirds of the region’s demand for installation and maintenance work, while Connecticut and Massachusetts represented more than half of the region’s demand for stormwater projects.
  • According to a group of scientists, warming of the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, has added up to 66 days of summer-like temperatures to the water surface since 1982.  This warming trend could have significant impacts on the strength of hurricanes in the area, the availability of food for endangered North Atlantic right whales, and the health of commercial fisheries.
  • In July 2017, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded three grants totaling nearly $1 million to fund the state’s continued effort to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Specifically, the funding will be used for riparian buffer protection, streambank stabilization, and other restoration projects in the state’s section of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • In Maine, The Nature Conservancy and its partners are investigating methods to help increase oyster populations growing on the bottom of the New Meadows River.   Goals of the project include improving water quality, restoring aquatic habitats, and facilitating more natural oyster spawning in the future.  Additionally, New York is investing $10.4 million in an enhanced shellfish seeding program designed to improve water quality off the Long Island coast by expanding oyster and clam seeding in the area.

 

MID-ATLANTIC

The Mid-Atlantic region consists of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

  • Between the second and third quarters of 2017, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia experienced significant increases in the total number of available bids and projects.  These opportunities included requests for infrastructure upgrades, sewer repairs and reconstructions, drainage system installations, purchase of associated equipment and parts, and shoreline enhancements.
  • In August 2017, the US EPA approved and helped finance a $303 million plan by Maryland to conduct more than 30 clean water projects, including wastewater treatment plant upgrades aimed at reducing overflows of untreated sewage and the installation of green infrastructure designed to improve stormwater management processes in Baltimore.
  • Additionally, the US EPA awarded nearly $70 million to New Jersey in August 2017 to help fund water infrastructure projects deemed vital to protecting public health and the environment. Among other projects, the funding will be used to rehabilitate wastewater collection systems and pump stations throughout the state.
  • In September 2017, $6.4 million in federal grants and matching funds was directed towards addressing pollution from farmland runoff in Lancaster County, which is responsible for contributing more damaging nutrients into the Chesapeake Bay than any other county in Pennsylvania.  Specifically, the funding will be used for preservation and conservation projects that help local farmers reduce the levels of nutrient and soil runoff into nearby streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

 

SOUTH

The South region consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

  • In the third quarter of 2017, the largest demand for stormwater projects across the US was seen in the South, with Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky accounting for more than half of the region’s total demand.  Multiple projects throughout the region were focused on the repair of drainage culverts, inlets, and systems; the rehabilitation of water control structures; the installation of stormwater pipes; and the construction of drainage trenches.
  • After passing through ten Caribbean countries, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm in September 2017.  The storm, which sustained maximum wind speeds of 185 mph at its peak, caused over $50 billion in damage to Florida and approximately $30 billion in damage to the Caribbean.
  • In July 2017, the city of Sarasota, Florida announced plans to finance a “living seawall” project with a portion of the settlement money it received following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project, which is aimed at improving water quality along the coast of the Sarasota Bay, includes the installation of a 250-foot-long seawall that features an artificial structure designed to function like a coral reef and attract filter feeders such as scallops and oysters.
  • The Water Institute of the Gulf, a Louisiana-based research organization, and Deltares, a Netherlands-based water think tank, announced plans in July 2017 to jointly research and  develop a range of coastal protection and restoration solutions that can be utilized in both countries, among other locations around the globe.  Specific areas of focus include integrated strategic water resources planning, operational watershed management, sediment strategies for coasts, and real-time monitoring of levees aimed at establishing flood safety standards.