Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Oct17 cover

Vol 18, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

  • Evoqua is set to price its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange later this month at an implied equity valuation of just over $...
  • The EV/EBITDA multiple looks to be somewhere in the mid-teens, partly thanks to the acquisitive growth path that AEA has embarked on over the past 18 months. The choice of...
  • Suez completed its $3.4 billion takeover of GE’s water business on 30 September, leapfrogging Evoqua to take a spot among the...
Desal drivers
  • The enlarged Suez group will almost certainly emerge as the world’s leading desalination plant supplier when the final cut of data comes in for the next World Wide Desalting Plant Inventory. This year’s data shows that...
  • The Middle East continues to be a cornerstone of growth in terms of desalination capacity building, despite higher tariffs in Abu Dhabi having resulted in a marked...
  • Spain’s powerful irrigation lobby used to be among the greatest hold-outs against desalination, preferring instead to take vast quantities of water from the Tagus-Segura pipeline at a quarter of the cost. Now, with drought in Iberia...
  • The signing of a new watersharing treaty between the US and Mexico brings with it the possibility of more desalination and reuse infrastructure in...
P3 Promises
  • A series of developments over the past month have reinforced a sense of cautious optimism around the pipeline of privately financed water projects in the US. This time, however...
  • The adoption of designbuild delivery to the point that it can no longer realistically be described as “alternative” should help this trend, and a new report from...
  • The options for privately financed treatment plants in Vietnam, meanwhile, are limited only by the risk appetite of project developers. If you are prepared to...
  • Korean small and medium enterprises are reaping the benefits of K-water’s efforts to internationalise its ICT-optimised approach to integrated water resources management. Korean state spending on smart water also seems to be...
  • In Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, attempts to further raise water tariffs have hit the buffers after last year’s unpopular hike. While plans to slash subsidies and raise prices on fuel and electricity have...
  • The US Bureau of Land Management issued a letter to Cadiz Inc. earlier this month stating that the company needs no further authorisation to...

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)
Portland O&M... United States 15 Oct 18 Representative... Utility
Forsyth O&M ... United States 15 Oct 18 Proposals are ... Utility
Mallorca bul... Spain 15 Oct 18 Bids are due i... WTP
Denia-Ondara... Spain 15 Oct 18 On 5th October... WWTP
Tanauan join... Philippines 15 Oct 18 Manila Water, ... Utility

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

Project tracker

US water P3s – without the hype; New Zealand’s new model alliance; Cape Town gets pragmatic on desalination pipeline; Japanese concessions gain steam; India’s hybrid breeding programme; New plants for old in Abu Dhabi; all the latest project news from around the world.


GWI Water Index

Falling bond yields boost index

A continued decline in the 10yr Treasury yield has enhanced the prospect of a sustained rally in regulated US utility stocks. It helped the GWI Water Index to hit another new high.

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water154.45-0.30%10 Sep
Asian Water93.11-5.00%10 Sep
EMEA Water89.44-2.11%10 Sep
Americas Water259.762.41%10 Sep

Market Profile

Desal recovery continues, but risks remain

Appetite for new desalination capacity is growing, but progress is frustratingly slow in some areas. What are the market dynamics?

The List

The biggest desal centres

With the new Worldwide Desalting Plant Inventory published this month, we take a look at the largest desalination production centres in the world.


Christopher gasson Learning to sell life insurance to immortals

Christopher Gasson argues that private finance is more about risk transfer than a lender of last resort.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: Worldwide contaminant limits

This month’s chart comes from GWI’s Global Regulations Package, a new database and digital report covering water, wastewater and sludge treatment standards which will be published on 24 October.

Chart of the month


Water Leaders

A blueprint for creating the circular utility

Water utilities too often have to balance their environmental commitments with financial realities. Queensland Urban Utilities CEO Louise Dudley tells GWI’s Samantha Yates how the body is marrying financial self-sufficiency with investment in green infrastructure.


Chief Technology Officer

User Perspectives

Yuengling taps into resource reuse potential
with anaerobic treatment plants

America’s oldest brewer has turned its wastewater into an asset by recovering nutrients and energy from its streams. GWI discovers what changes have been made and where the company is headed next.

Smart Water Watch

What is happening in the water quality monitoring market?

Growing public concerns about water quality and decreasing hardware costs have been driving up demand for real-time monitoring solutions. GWI explores the biggest opportunities.

CTO Outlook

Arabian dreams for new ZLD technologies

Dubai-based developer Metito’s busy innovation department is dedicated to strengthening its technology offering to complement its EPC business. It is making headway in zero liquid discharge solutions and biological treatment but is seeking expertise in sludge.

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


AEA readies revamped Evoqua for $500m New York IPO

After four years of ownership, AEA Investors is poised to hand over a profitable water pureplay. Has bulking up on EBITDA created strategic long-term value?

Design-build sheds its ‘alternative’ status as client uptake advances to the next level

A steady rise in the proportion of US water projects procured using design-build delivery has gone hand in hand with a trend towards increased collaboration between client and contractor. Who are the real winners in this evolving market segment?

Getting collaborative about P3 delivery in water

Introducing a progressive element into the delivery of P3 projects in the water sector could stimulate more deal flow by offering clients a greater say in a project’s outcome. The concept is not popular with everyone.

Discussion around US water P3s reaches a new level of maturity

More and more public authorities are embracing the possibility of delivering water infrastructure using private capital and expertise. Despite the diversity of projects in the pipeline, the market is realistic about how this will translate into deal flow.

Santa Clara’s P3 decision is just the beginning

The decision to pursue a P3 delivery method for a major reuse project in California puts an end to 18 months of market uncertainty. The client still needs to resolve a host of other issues before it can move forward with the project.

US military outsourcing turns a corner as the pace of procurement quickens

The award this month of two military water privatisation contracts in the US prefigures a strong pipeline of additional opportunities. As public and private sector players compete for a slice of this lucrative market, how will operators look to differentiate themselves?

New collaborative water infrastructure deal agreed on the US-Mexico border

As the US and Mexico face off on thornier political issues, the two countries have struck a deal to extend the water-sharing provisions of the 1944 Colorado River Treaty. Ongoing collaboration will see the US invest in water infrastructure south of the border.

Brazil’s new roadmap for wastewater capex

A new study published this month provides a unique level of granularity on Brazil’s wastewater investment needs. A holistic approach involving reuse from the outset will depend on a policy change at the federal level.

Debra coy Spending smarter, not harder

As the argument over who should fund water infrastructure rolls on, utilities are finding alternative ways to save, says Debra Coy.

Americas water in brief

The US Bureau of Land Management has issued a letter to Cadiz Inc. stating that the company needs no further authorisation to build its proposed water conveyance pipeline along an existing railroad right-of-way.

Asia pacific

Darco-InfraCo team pioneers water concessions in Vietnam

A Singapore government-brokered partnership between Darco Water Technologies and InfraCo Asia is treading virgin ground for foreign companies in Vietnam. Bearing the demand risk is the price to pay for getting back into the asset ownership business.

InfraCo Asia dives into water sector

A joint venture with Darco will be InfraCo Asia’s first investment in the water and wastewater treatment industry. It will be looking for a quick exit.

IFC eyes Vietnam water player DNP

Dong Nai Plastic Company, which has built up a portfolio of five water projects and utilities in Vietnam, has piqued the IFC’s interest. An equity injection is on the cards.

K-water launches Korean SMEs abroad while scaling up its smart water strategy at home

With the Asia Water Council’s initiatives abroad gathering pace, K-water has set up a platform for channelling Korean SMEs to overseas opportunities. Efforts to tackle consumer mistrust of tap water mean that there is a lot of SME smart water know-how to be unlocked.

New Zealand alliance activity picks up pace

Two councils are embracing alliances as a way of streamlining water, wastewater and stormwater services. Splitting plant and network management is a new approach.

Asia Pacific water in brief

Chinese state-owned giant Shenhua Group has awarded the engineering and procurement contracts for coal-to-chemical and mining wastewater treatment at its Ningdong Energy Base in Ningxia Province.

Willy yeo Reflections on water

Chinese water companies have a responsibility to drive the industry forward, argues Willy Yeo.


Spain entertains desalination capacity boost for farmers

The Spanish agricultural lobby has reluctantly embraced desalination after the Tagus- Segura pipeline dried up earlier this year. Do the long-term economics stack up?

Suez looks for accelerated industrial growth after softer first half

Having catapulted itself into the premier league of global industrial water suppliers through the acquisition of GE Water, Suez is now faced with the challenge of growing the top line of the combined business at a rate of 5% a year. What is its strategy?

Evac set to cruise to market-beating growth under new ownership

The Finnish water and waste company wants to double its revenue base under new owner Bridgepoint. It still lacks exposure to one of the most hyped growth areas in the market.

Yorkshire Water mulling debut ‘social bond’

As monopolies, water utilities have never had to worry too much about the wider benefits their interventions have on society at large. The sector’s first ‘social bond’ is set to challenge that notion.

United Utilities pushes the envelope on CPI

A new 40-year bond linked to the consumer price index is believed to be the longest ever issued in this format by a UK water utility. With demand sporadic at best, what will it take to bring CPI-linked debt into the mainstream?

David lloyd owen Fatbergs and the silo mentality

Joined-up thinking could mean the sewer blockages facing Thames Water could be turned into an opportunity, says David Lloyd Owen.

Europe water in brief

The UK Labour Party’s plans to buy back outstanding PFI contracts if it gets into power were met with disdain by industry body CBI, which said in a statement that the party’s “vision of massive state intervention is the wrong plan at the wrong time.”

Middle East and Africa

UAE slashes water demand – but desal market forges on

Tariff management has paid off for Abu Dhabi, with the emirate cutting water demand forecasts significantly. As the priorities for its still-buoyant desalination market shift to new technology and lower energy usage, is the end of thermal desal in sight?

New energy sources join the mix

The cost of energy from burning natural gas is estimated at around $0.07/kWh in Abu Dhabi. With the price of alternatives tumbling, and the security and cost of gas under the spotlight, new sources are emerging.

Consultants wait for formal Muscat shortlist

The sultanate is imminently expected to confirm a shortlist of consultants to advise it on a radical water sector restructuring programme. The chosen team will help formulate a programme that will revolutionise water and wastewater services in the country.

Network and billing problems put new Saudi water price rises on ice

Problems with piping, metering and billing have put a halt to the Kingdom’s much-needed, but controversial, water tariff restructuring plans. With further consumer price rises off the cards for now, improving network efficiency will be a priority.

Middle East water in brief

The European Investment Bank (EIB) could have its remit extended to Iran under a proposal being considered by the European Commission.

Tom scotney Totex thinking’s white knight

 A rising tide of PSP in all its forms will make life easier for equipment suppliers in the Middle East, argues Tom Scotney.