Insights

Has the development community given up on utilities?

Sanitation seems to be edging water out as the big issue for the development community. The worry for the water industry is where this leaves utilities. Increasingly, sanitation means toilets, hand-washing and decentralised systems.

The displacement of water by sanitation at the top of the development agenda was confirmed in March this year when the UN reported on progress towards ...

Closing the 3,438-mile gap between water and oil

I have been up to my ears in oil recently. Last week I spoke at CWC’s Global Water: Oil and Gas Summit in Dubai and the London Environmental Investment Forum’s Water in the Extractive Industries event. This week I have been hard at work on the oil and gas chapter of our Industrial Desalination and Water Reuse report ...

Four reasons to be jealous of German water tech

I was in Munich this week for IFAT, the awesome German environmental trade show. It is difficult, as a non-German, to visit without a tinge of jealousy. The stands were heaving with rich German customers spending money in a way not seen elsewhere in Europe or North America. It seems to me that the German water technology sector is enjoying ...

Ten things I learned at the Global Water Summit

 

1) Synthetic genomics will change the world and the water sector. Nature can do things much more efficiently than machines, and we now have the technology to design nature in the same way we design machines. Craig Venter – who in 2010 announced that he had created the first synthetic life form – outlined the promise of this new industry. I am ...

Is disaggregation the future for private water?

There is an interesting analysis of Chicago’s proposed Infrastructure Trust in this month’s American Water Intelligence. The trust – which was given the go-ahead by the Chicago City Council earlier this week – will raise money from private equity investors to invest in public infrastructure for the city. It probably won’t be used to finance water infrastructure initially, but ...

Is killing 4,000 babies a day good customer service?

This month’s American Water Intelligence carries an analysis comparing the growth rate of US GDP and capital expenditure on water and wastewater infrastructure by municipal utilites. It shows that over the past two decades, the economy as a whole has grown more quickly than public investment in water.It is not the sort of thing you want to read ...