Insights

Dump Veolia: a nasty reminder of 21st century sales

Last week Veolia took a hit from the left field in St. Louis. It had won a competitive tender at the end of last year for a $250,000, four-month consulting contract which should have been the prelude to a longer-term performance-based contract with the utility. Then after a campaign by local Palestinian activists, they were told that the deal is on hold.

Palestinian...

The product is not the product: it is the marketing

Are water technology start-ups sufficiently customer-focused? It seems to me that this is the biggest problem for most of them, but not in the normal sense. Most of them are reasonably in touch with what the people who might buy their equipment want out of a new technology, but that is not the point.

The real customers of start-up companies are not the people who buy...

How will the military drive the water market in the near term?

The U.S. military has a reputation for inventing highly innovative products and systems for its own purposes, which are sometimes adapted for civilian use at a later date. Nuclear power plants, microwave ovens, the Internet, high-definition TV and personal GPS systems are but just a few examples. Recent evidence suggests the military’s forward thinking could soon...

It’s official – the water industry works backwards

Unaccounted-for water, workforce productivity, increased coverage – these are the things that matter to water utilities, aren’t they? Not according to a brilliantly counter-intuitive analysis of the World Bank’s IB-Net database I have just read.

IB-Net is a database of water performance indicators from 2,000 water utilities from 85 countries around the...

What can a spaceman teach us about water?

The theme for this year’s Global Water Summit in Seville is “the Water Risk Nexus”. It begs the question: do we need another nexus to vex us?

Certainly there seem to be a lot of nexi knocking around these days. The water-energy nexus, the water-food nexus, the water-energy-food-fibre nexus. They all seem to be saying that we live in a...

What is the prognosis for the sale of the Siemens water businesses in 2013?

The big story for 2013 is going to be who buys Siemens Water. There are essentially three ways it could go: First, the buyer could be a well-informed company buying for keeps. Second, the buyer could be a company that thinks it’s buying for keeps but doesn’t know what it’s doing. Third, the buyer could be an opportunist looking for a quick turnaround...