FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2010
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357

USTDA SUPPORTS ALGERIA'S EFFORTS TO ENHANCE AGRICULTURE PRODUCTIVITY, DETER ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH

ALGIERS, ALGERIA – Due to persistent water shortages in Algeria that have dramatically affected agricultural productivity, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) provided a grant today to support the Algerian Ministry of Water Resources as it pursues environmentally beneficial technologies and modernizes its water infrastructure. The grant will fund a feasibility study to assess different technologies and find cost-effective solutions for wastewater reuse at the El Karma Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Oran.

The Government of Algeria currently considers wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation a priority in order to enhance agribusiness development opportunities. Introducing new technologies in the wastewater treatment sector in Algeria will help to increase agricultural production, promote economic growth, enhance food security and provide export opportunities for U.S. businesses.

U.S. Ambassador David Pearce, who conferred the $256,741 grant to the Algerian Ministry of Water Resources in Algiers, said that the project provides an opportunity to foster human capacity building through the creation of new and more skilled jobs in the wastewater management sector.

“Upgrading these facilities will improve the quality of 201,440 cubic meters of reclaimed water per day, so that it can be used for the irrigation of nearby agricultural land and industrial sites,” said Pearce.

“The project aligns with the Government of Algeria’s current water conservation policies and strategic plan to reduce dependency on overexploited local water resources,” he continued. “The upgrade is necessary to increase water supply and ease shortages in this water scarce region.”

The study will assess the technical, economic, financial and regulatory feasibility of the necessary improvements to the El Karma WWTP, and evaluate the environmental and developmental impacts associated with wastewater reclamation at the facility.

U.S. Ambassador David Pearce signed the grant on behalf of the United States and Secretary General Zidane Merah signed on behalf of the Algerian Ministry of Water Resources.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcements will be posted on USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The Algerian Ministry of Water will select a U.S. firm to provide the assistance associated with their grant.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

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