Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Feb18 cover

Vol 19, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

Desal growth
  • The desalination market in the Middle East is firing on all cylinders once again, with 3 million m3/d of new capacity currently out to tender (see Project Tracker). The project everyone is watching this month is...
  • Opportunities in Saudi Arabia have been coming in all shapes and sizes. The Saline Water Conversion Corporation last month announced plans to tender nine...
  • The reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas has boosted hopes that Gaza will get its much-needed...
  • The day when Cape Town is expected to run out of water as a result of its prolonged drought has been pushed back to 4th June as a result of...
  • Hyflux shares dropped 29% this month amid mounting fears over whether the company will be able to raise sufficient proceeds from asset sales in time for...
  • Suez shares have fallen by 23% since 23 January, when the company reported that its 2017 earnings before interest and tax would...
Indian lovers
  • It is not all bad news for Suez in India. The French company this month confirmed that it had been awarded a 26-year operations contract to serve the city of Coimbatore, and it also looks...
  • Just four major foreign investors remain in the Chinese water infrastructure space, following the surprise news that UAE-based project developer Metito has...
  • Metito is not short of opportunities in more welcoming markets. This month it was awarded a SAR220 million ($59 million) contract to build...
Israeli investors
  • Israeli desalter IDE Technologies is looking to buy its way to growth through brownfield asset purchases, rather than relying solely on winning greenfield projects. The new strategy follows...
  • Israel’s Government-owned Corporations Authority has revived a plan to sell a minority stake in the national water carrier Mekorot through an...
Risk management
  • New Zealand is looking to end the use of untreated groundwater for drinking in a move that will affect 12% of the country’s population. It follows a...
  • The shareholders of Tyson Foods rejected a motion this month to introduce a wideranging water stewardship programme. The vote was...
Big PPPlans
  • Donald Trump has published his plans to spend $1.5 trillion rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Without offering more than $200 billion of federal funding, it didn’t...
  • Argentina’s AySA tested the appetite of foreign investors with a $500 million bond issue this month. Next, the utility will start...
  • El Salvador is also considering private finance to help with its $...
Smaller PPPlans
  • Ofwat’s proposed reduction in the allowable cost of capital for water companies in England and Wales in 2020-2025 could slash their revenues by more than £...
  • The Brazilian federal government’s efforts to boost private sector involvement in state water companies have lost momentum after...
  • Cybersecurity solutions provider Radiflow reported that the water industry had experienced its first cryptocurrency mining attack when malware was discovered on...

Project Tracker

Project Tracker

Charting the progress of over 900 Desal, Reuse and PPP water projects in the international water industry.

Download a sample

Latest Tracker Updates

Project Tracker Database
(Subscription Requried)
Coachella Va... United States 21 Feb 18 Bench-scale pi... Reuse
Baggao water... Philippines 20 Feb 18 Tubig Pilipina... Utility
Weliwita bul... Sri Lanka 20 Feb 18 Eight out of t... WTP
Guadarrama B... Spain 20 Feb 18 On 19 February... WWTP
Hambantota Sri Lanka 20 Feb 18 Just one compa... Desal

What's making the news in global water projects this month

Project tracker

Dreams and reality in African desal; Gulf tender activity reaches fever pitch; pushing the envelope on reuse in California and Texas; biosolids P3s gain momentum; India’s PPP challenges; Brazil’s privatisation agenda takes a step back; all the latest project news from around the...


GWI Water Index

Dow decline hits water stocks

It was difficult to outperform after a record fall in one of the world’s most respected stock indices this month. With earnings season well underway, who came out on top?

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water147.74-9.20%10 Feb
Asian Water103.07-13.28%10 Feb
EMEA Water83.85-12.40%10 Feb
Americas Water234.36-5.84%10 Feb

The List

Who has the biggest spending plans?

Central governments like to talk big numbers to show their commitment to the water sector. Not all of them have the money to deliver these plans without some third-party assistance.


Christopher gasson Making Trump’s plan work

Christopher Gasson says we will need a big productivity increase.

Chart of the month

SWRO membrane market share

This month’s chart shows the market share of the major reverse osmosis membrane suppliers for seawater desalination plants with capacities of more than 50,000m3/d.

Chart of the month februuary 2018


Water Leaders

Introducing the Leading Utilities of the World

Last month the Global Water Leaders’ Group launched a new initiative to highlight the achievements of the top performing utilities in the world. It has ambitions to change the way the water industry works.

Being the best in the world is not our job

Singapore PUB’s chief executive Peter Ng has another goal in mind: being the best for Singapore. It means pursuing impossible performance targets, pushing the boundaries of technology, and still worrying about how to win the trust of customers.




Chief Technology Officer

User Perspectives

Texas Instruments chips away at water consumption with reuse strategy

American semiconductor firm Texas Instruments is working to reduce its reliance on external water sources as it braces for an increase in water scarcity events across the globe. GWI finds out what the possibilities for water security are.

Smart Water Watch

Itron sets the digital standard with Silver Spring acquisition

After closing the $830 million purchase of Silver Spring Networks, metering analytics giant Itron is looking to create a standardised IoT network to develop its water business. By doing so it will expose itself to greater competition.

CTO Outlook

Pushing the chemicals technology envelope

Water treatment chemicals specialist Solenis is preparing to roll out its predictive analytics solution as the next step in its digital strategy. CTO Tim Wood tells GWI about the varying dynamics around innovation between the municipal and industrial sectors.

See the latest technology updates on the Chief Technology Officer Homepage...


Trump’s plan hatches reforms to boost private water

The blueprint released this month includes a host of canny policy shifts which could meaningfully improve the landscape for the private sector.

Veolia North America finds new strategies for growth after PPS fails to make headway

The French company is no longer pursuing its Peer Performance Solutions business model, despite its early success with New York City. Instead, CEO Bill DiCroce is bolstering its regional outsourcing sales force, and accelerating its expansion on the industrial side

Making peace with Pittsburgh

At first, the city looked like an opportunity. It turned into a public relations nightmare.

Progress, but with the odd hiccough

The biggest player in the North American contract operations market is getting back to its winning ways, but not every customer is overwhelmed by Veolia’s proposition.

Long-planned Canadian biosolids project reaches financial close

The unusual situation of not having feedstock samples to help determine the technology configuration for a new biosolids processing plant required some innovative thinking from the developer team.

California digests new cap-and-trade water conservation concept

Researchers at Stanford University have proposed a regional credit trading scheme which could significantly cut water conservation costs in California. As a low snowpack threatens and groundwater sustainability efforts ramp up, could the concept gain traction?

Investor pressure mounts on livestock water pollution as Tyson Foods refuses to engage

Although Tyson Foods has again ducked shareholder efforts to force the introduction of a company-wide water stewardship policy, mainstream investors are increasingly aware of the financial risks posed by water pollution from intensive livestock operations.

Brazil’s water sector reform hits turbulence

Several states have pulled out of the privatisation process amid significant push-back to the government’s proposed water reforms.

El Salvador devises $14bn water plan

Wastewater treatment plants in the largest cities are the most likely PPP candidates.

NW Natural joins the multi-utility bandwagon

The Oregon-based gas utility wants to build a regulated water platform in the Western US. It is starting small.

AySA diversifies funding with $500m bond

After increasing tariffs by 400%, the Buenos Aires water utility has tapped the international bond markets. PPPs are next on the agenda.

Debra coy The next big start-up

The Trump infrastructure package may not solve the country’s water needs – but it opens up space for those who might, says Debra Coy.

Americas water in brief

Granite Construction has agreed to acquire Nasdaq-listed Layne Christensen for $565 million, equivalent to an EBITDA/EV multiple of 8.2x. The deal furthers Granite’s penetration into the water sector following the 2013 acquisition of tunnelling specialist Kenny Construction.

Asia pacific

Mumbai kicks off 5 tenders in $1.5bn wastewater plan

28 groups attended a pre-bid conference for the largest urban wastewater treatment plant build-out in India’s history. Qualification restrictions have edged out most foreigners.

NZ government considers plan to upgrade water treatment for 12% of the population

A key proposal of the December inquiry into the Havelock North campylobacteriosis outbreak was to remove the “secure” label of aquifers that supply around 12% of New Zealand’s water. The Ministry of Health is now costing up the job of adding treatment barriers.

Metito’s China exit leaves just four foreignowned water portfolios in the country

In a strategic U-turn, the Dubai-based developer has sold off its portfolio of projects and followed the foreign exodus, citing tough conditions for outside equity-holders. After a number of high-profile departures, is there a future for international water in China?

Asia in brief

The Supreme Court of India is due to release its verdict on 16 February on the decades-long Cauvery river water-sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Willy yeo Little Big Data

Will under-investment in Asia’s inefficient markets stop it from capitalising on big data’s big promises? GWI’s Willy Yeo investigates.


Looking beyond Suez’s profit warning

Suez shareholders were forced to re-calibrate their expectations on growth after a profit warning last month. How deeply has faith in the current management team been shaken?

S&P forecasts big UK revenue haircut in AMP7

The dramatic drop in the UK water sector’s weighted average cost of capital in 2020 could translate into a significant loss of revenue.

Rare UK water bonds find demand

Companies are trying to wean themselves off a past reliance on cheap EIB funding.

Barcelona to expand reuse as drought rages

The city is looking to revamp idle treatment infrastructure in an attempt to avoid a repeat of 2008, when it had to tanker in water.

Kelda shareholders to press on with sale of majority stake

The sale of 53.7% of Kelda is still likely to go ahead, despite heightened political and regulatory risk, and a non-regulated nightmare.

Europe in brief

Canadian pension fund OMERS Infrastructure has agreed to increase its stake in Thames Water to around 32%.

David lloyd owen Data gaps don’t go away

To make sense of improvements in world water coverage, we need to know what we don’t know, says David Lloyd Owen.

Middle East and Africa

Desal investors head for KSA as SWCC feels out new role

Saudi Arabia is aiming to hit out at every level of the desalination market. While a new generation of investors vie for its pipeline of privately financed projects, its state-owned desalination body is making waves with targeted projects and new angles for R&D.

Haya Water plans sewage BOT rollout

Oman’s chief wastewater collection and treatment body is looking to create a pipeline of privately funded WWTPs in the mould of the country’s IWP programme.

KAEC planners opt for solar desal as future utility needs grow

A new facility at the city could herald a fresh spurt of opportunities for operators.

Hamas-Fatah Authority detente raises hopes for Gaza desalination planners

A political breakthrough could mean movement on crucial infrastructure in one of the most water-starved places on earth.

New fund looks to create alpha from water

An investment vehicle backed by Israeli institutions is keen to leverage the capabilities of investee company IDE Technologies to create enhanced returns from infrastructure assets. Finding suitable opportunities is likely to be a challenge.

Middle East in brief

Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry has approved a plan to double the volume of desalinated water produced in the country to 1.2 billion m3/year.

Tom scotney The devil’s in the details

The level of interest in Saudi Arabia’s newest desalination plant is positive, but that’s not the whole picture, says Tom Scotney.