“We were searching for a city that we could meet with to discuss new advancements in water and power utilities technology, including green energy and water conservation,” said Robert Sichinga, founder of the Zambian-USA Chamber of Commerce. Sichinga arranged the meeting between Riverside officials, Ambassador Siwela and Zambia’s First Secretary of Trade Inonge Limbambala.
“As we continued to do research on Riverside, we found out that it had been recognized with many awards for its progressive projects and policies,” Sichinga said.
The city’s International Relations Officer Lalit Acharya, along with representatives from Riverside Public Utilities met with the African delegation to talk about water and energy delivery systems, renewable energy projects and programs, and what has been done to help create a thriving sustainable community here.
“They were very interested in our hydroelectric power pipe project,” said RPU Assistant General Manager Kevin Milligan, “and how they might be able to utilize that technology.”
The group toured the site where RPU has been working since 2010 in partnership with LucidEnergy of Portland, Ore., as the pilot test facility to develop their new LucidPipe Power System.
The system, which is attached to a 60-inch water main, generates electricity through a spherical turbine that spins as water passes it.
The unique project, which provides a new way to create clean, renewable energy by harnessing the power of moving water received an Outstanding Energy Management Award last year from the American Water Works Association, which also gained the attention of the Zambian delegation.
“I am sure in the future we will reach out to the developers of that technology to see how it can be used in Zambia,” Sichinga said.
Another connection Sichinga would like to see made is through Riverside’s Sister Cities program.
“We would be very interested in fostering a sister city relationship with Riverside,” he said.
Currently, the only African sister city Riverside has is Obuasi, Ghana.