Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Nov17 cover

Vol 18, Issue 11 (November 2017)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

The Pitts
  • Following a damning audit by Pennsylvania’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, consultant IMG recommended earlier this month that Pittsburgh’s failing water utility...
  • Veolia is caught up in the crisis in Pittsburgh. Having initially supplied an interim CEO for PWSA in 2012, it then implemented a performance-based management contract which...
  • President Trump’s tax reforms could turn out to be a major kick in the teeth for private finance in US water infrastructure. The version of the reform bill promulgated by the House proposes...
  • Smaller US utilities have fewer options, and the lack of federal grant money has created a new urgency for consolidation – potentially creating opportunities for private buyers.
  • Federal belt-tightening is also having an impact outside the US. Last month, the World Bank’s CEO Jim Kim made the case for...
Who's winning
  • This month we are publishing our new ranking of the top 50 private water companies by population served. Together they serve more than 1 billion people – or 13%...
  • The market for private finance in China is continuing to evolve. Three years ago it was focused on water and wastewater treatment plants, but today, the focus is...
  • One of the biggest private water concessions in the world – Palyja, which serves 3 million people in west Jakarta in Indonesia – was bought by two mystery companies this month. The buyers are...
  • The Brazilian government is introducing a new law mandating state utilities to put...
  • Shares in Evoqua immediately started trading at a healthy premium to the IPO price, pegging the business at an enterprise value of $...
  • Abengoa has talked its way back into the project development market. Having received a good offer for its remaining 25%...
  • San Francisco-based infrastructure finance house Generate Capital has raised $200 million of...
  • Canadian pipe diagnostics and repair company Aquam has closed a $26 million funding...
Gulf news
  • Saudi Arabia is looking to transfer a number of major municipal water and wastewater treatment plants to private sector ownership by bundling them with...
  • Dubai’s demand management programme has been working ahead of expectations. The next step in the emirate’s water strategy is to...
Messy situation
  • The Israeli government has stopped Mekorot from selling its struggling Ashdod desalination plant to the IVM consortium consortium that built it. Instead, the government...
  • GWI finally inked the deal with Engineering Solutions to set up a specialist water headhunting arm this month. GWI Selection combines David Gordon and Paul James’ executive search skills with GWI’s unparalleled network of connections.

Project Tracker

Project Tracker

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

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Latest Tracker Updates

Project Tracker Database
(Subscription Requried)
Hassyan SWRO... United Arab Emirates 21 Sep 18 The client has... Desal
Canoas WWTP Colombia 21 Sep 18 Proposals for ... Reuse
Lake Station... United States 20 Sep 18 The Indiana Ut... Utility
Sun Country ... United States 20 Sep 18 The bid submis... Utility
East Brandyw... United States 20 Sep 18 Sealed bids ar... Utility

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

Project tracker

Morocco and Tunisia ramp up desalination procurement; Saudi Arabia’s BOT programme evolves; Pittsburgh eyes concession without O&M; Iran’s cultural shortcomings; Island-hopping for desal developers; India’s new contract clusters; all the latest project news from around the...


GWI Water Index

Results season buoys index

Despite a cool summer and a hurricane-filled autumn, many water stocks rose to multiyear highs, aided by a positive results season. Evoqua’s IPO was a further high point.

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water154.911.95%10 Aug
Asian Water98.010.41%10 Aug
EMEA Water91.372.17%10 Aug
Americas Water253.642.56%10 Aug

The List


Christopher gasson GWI’s ever-expanding dogma

Christopher Gasson explains what we stand for after 15 years.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: US Market Data

This month’s chart was created for the latest GWI WaterData webinar.

Chart of the month nov 2017


Water Leaders

Leading water’s fightback against climate change in Southern California

While the state-wide drought in California eased last year, the picture in the south is as tough as ever. With wildfires raging and utilities under pressure, Metropolitan Water District boss Jeff Kightlinger tells GWI’s Samantha Yates how the region plans to build its way out of drought.

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

Puma takes the lead with supply chain sustainability strategy

The ubiquitous German sportswear brand is at the forefront of the changes being brought about in the textiles industry. GWI probes its relationship with a vast supply chain and its plans to coordinate a major evolution in water and wastewater treatment techniques.

Smart Water Watch

Innovyze touts asset management as the next big thing

The hydraulic modelling specialist is taking on the biggest trends in the digital water industry. What opportunities does it see away from its traditional areas of expertise?

CTO Outlook

A dual approach to innovating in water

Hitachi’s water business unit is trying to make a splash in desalination and the digital sector. GWI talks to its technology advisor Koichi Tsuzuki about the company’s two-pronged strategy of innovative treatment techniques and harnessing the Internet of Things.

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


Pittsburgh mulls hybrid lease as solution to utility’s failings

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is on the verge of systemic failure. Could an ‘infrastructure-only’ concession skirt public distaste for private sector participation?

Algonquin Power goes global with new JV

With tax credits for wind power assets in the US due to taper off in 2020, the Canadian infrastructure developer needed to inject some diversification into its strategy. A new deal with Abengoa to develop clean energy and water projects holds considerable potential.

Has Abengoa found its ideal equity partner?

Abengoa’s new deal with Algonquin Power will open up new routes to growth. It will also hasten the recycling of project equity.

Stantec looks to make the most of being big

The Canadian company’s merger with MWH Global created a giant. EVP for water Marshall Davert explains how the company aims to combine the former’s local relationships with the latter’s big project expertise to grow the top and bottom line. It seems to be working.

Water sector stunned as House tax bill sounds the death knell for PABs

A draft tax reform proposal would eliminate the tax-exempt status of private activity bonds in the US. How much of a setback would this be for private water projects?

Generating capital where it’s needed most

A $200 million equity injection into a unique funding vehicle has the potential to bring small-scale distributed infrastructure finance to a much wider audience. Generate Capital CEO Scott Jacobs explains his infrastructure-as-a-service model to GWI.

Alternative approaches to US water utility consolidation hold promise

The consolidation of small water systems in the US could address funding constraints and operational deficiencies, while creating new opportunities for the private sector. Appetite may be increasing, but tangible examples remain elusive.

Wastewater consolidation picks up

US municipalities faced with ageing infrastructure and regulatory compliance are increasingly looking at options to consolidate their wastewater treatment assets.

Brazil’s water reform carries mixed messages

An attempt to fast-track legislative changes in the Brazilian water market has positives and negatives for the private sector. There is still room for manoeuvre before the proposals become law.

American water in brief

SJW Group completed the sale of Texas Water Alliance Limited to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority on 16 November for $31 million.

Debra coy Small can be beautiful

The US water sector needs to start taking decentralisation more seriously, argues Debra Coy.

Asia pacific

Assessing China’s dominance of the global PPP market

Over half of the world’s water and wastewater treatment PPPs are in China, according to GWI WaterData. The massive backlog of capacity under construction will catapult developers even higher on the list of global private water companies next year.

Jakarta concessions shaken but stable after court ruling

An Indonesian Supreme Court judgement published last month was vocal in its condemnation of Jakarta’s water concessions, although it stopped short of terminating the contracts. What happens next?

Suez and Astratel sell out of Palyja

Rumours that the Salim Group is behind the buyers of an Indonesian water concession have been categorically denied by a group company. What do we know?

ST Marine joins Singapore’s homegrown desal squad

Newcomer ST Marine fought off competition from Sembcorp and Keppel to win the Jurong Island desalination plant. It is now looking to build up a water business in Southeast Asia and the Arabian Gulf. Can its success be replicated outside of Singapore?

India backtracks on treated sewage quality

A surprise turnaround by an Indian ministry on effluent standards will disappoint technology vendors, but is a net plus for Indian water.

Evolving Chinese PPP market reshuffles the pack for private water companies

As the early pioneers of the Chinese PPP market pack up and head for home, and as the first BOT contracts begin to expire, GWI maps out the players in the new PPP market, and takes a look at how international specialists can fit in.

Willy yeo A new vantage for Vietnam

What is causing the fervour of excitement around the Vietnamese water market? GWI’s Willy Yeo investigates.

Asia water in brief

Indian concessionaire SPML has signed an agreement with 11 banks, led by Canara Bank, to swap INR5.5 billion ($83 million) of existing debt into new convertible bonds.


Saur prepares for accelerated international growth

Following a period of relative stagnation, the group has embarked on a fresh drive to grow its international presence. CEO Louis-Roch Burgard shares his strategy with GWI.

Where is Saur headed next?

A newly announced growth plan looks like the latest step in a carefully crafted process to prepare Saur for sale. Ian Elkins asks whether it will remain in French hands.

UK renationalisation debate moves forward

The implications of the UK water sector being placed under government control after nearly 30 years of private ownership are complex and varied. Who would receive the better deal – bondholders or equity-holders?

Yorkshire Water invites feedback on sludge

The company wants to optimise the way it manages its bioresources by building a more diverse set of relationships with third parties. It is starting from a position of artificial inefficiency.

New legislation to revamp bidding rules

The jury is still out on what Spain’s new procurement law will mean for much-needed private sector investment, particularly in wastewater treatment.

Catalunya water escapes contagion

Despite the rhetoric from Madrid around the economic value destruction caused by the independence campaign, the water sector is functioning as normal – for now.

Italy aims to raise its game on water reuse

A new framework could pave the way for greater volumes of wastewater reuse in Italy. Broadening its appeal will depend on less stringent pathogen limits.

Canadians bet on UK water for their pensions

Recent changes in Thames Water’s ownership have seen Canadian pension fund OMERS accumulate more than 25% of the company.

David lloyd owen Ofwat and private perception

The work of the English regulator and private water companies has not paid off in the public imagination, argues David Lloyd Owen.

Europe water in brief

Veolia has sold CeraMem, its advanced membrane business for the oil and gas market, to CTI-Orelis.

Middle East and Africa

Kingdom bundles assets into new PPP procurement wave

Saudi Arabia is asking greenfield plant investors to take over ownership of nearby older facilities under a new batch of contracts. Will the sale of ageing but upgradeable plants be a necessary burden for investors, or an opportunity for enhanced profit margins?

Israel government nixes direct sale of troubled Ashdod desalination plant

The plant will have to be put up for auction after the authorities came down in favour of a rival buyer’s complaint.

Dubai to lean further on reuse as it looks to hit demand targets

A combination of tariff rises and increased levels of reuse have curbed growth in demand since the end of the regional financial crisis.

Kigali looks to spur development with first piped wastewater breakthrough

The new central sewerage project lined up for the Rwandan capital marks a breakthrough for the government and the international donors backing it. It also marks a step back for water PPPs in the east African country.

ONEE chief exec sacked over project delays

A lack of progress at one of the Moroccan king’s pet projects appears to be only part of the reason for Ali Fassi Fihri’s sudden departure.

Cadagua bows out as Oman desal plant goes public

The Ghubrah plant is the first to be listed on the stock exchange since 2013. Despite seeing a loss on its equity, departing shareholder Cadagua will be pleased with the deal.

Oman preps RFP for restructuring consultancy bid hopefuls

With five teams vying to work on a project to restructure water services, competition will be intense.

Middle East water in brief

Emirates Sembcorp Water & Power Co. (ESWPC), the owner of the Fujairah F1 power and water project in the UAE, is set to issue a $400 million project-linked bond before the end of the year.

Tom scotney The ‘80s revival in Saudi PPPs

Bundling brownfield and greenfield plant PPPs is a novel move, but the value of old assets is hard to ascertain, says Tom Scotney.