Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Jun 17 cover

Vol 18, Issue 6 (June 2017)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

China price
  • The great value arbitrage may be over before it has even truly begun. China’s National Resources Development Commission refused permission for two cross-border investments this month. The move sparked fears that...
Exit stage right
  • Chinese buyers might be out of the bidding for water assets pro tem, but the private equity sector is looking pretty frisky. The largest deal this month was...
Capex is so last year
  • Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure announcement came and went without the market being any the wiser as to how...
Desal dilemmas
  • Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation has initiated the process to find consultants to oversee the sale of its largest asset, the 1.05 million m³/d and 2,400MW Ras Al-Khair power and water complex. While it may be the shiny new jewel in SWCC’s crown, the lack of...
Asian opportunities
  • A report out this month by Infrastructure New Zealand advocates the wholesale privatisation of Auckland’s water utility, Watercare, ostensibly in order to raise money for an unfunded transportation infrastructure programme anticipated to cost NZ$...

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)
Sterling Nat... United States 20 Jul 18 The Arcadis/Ba... Reuse
Okhla WWTP India 20 Jul 18 The bid submis... WWTP
FGUA O&M, FL United States 20 Jul 18 The shortlist ... Utility
Michelson WR... United States 20 Jul 18 At its meeting... Reuse
Los Alisos M... United States 20 Jul 18 At its meeting... Reuse

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

Project tracker

SWCC gets the ball rolling on Ras Al-Khair sale; Oman’s endless thirst for desal; Angola eyes water PPP; Cape Town looks to RO; Japan smooths the path for water concessions; Asian bidders circle Belgrade wastewater deal; Florida pipeline grows; all the latest project news from around the...


GWI Water Index

Trump sends index to new highs

The market reacted positively to the infrastructure plan announced by the US president this month, despite the lack of detail. Not everyone benefited from the rally.

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water154.54-3.56%10 Jun
Asian Water104.62-6.53%10 Jun
EMEA Water90.98-3.01%10 Jun
Americas Water245.89-2.12%10 Jun

The List

The worst global water contamination crises

Five officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint, Michigan, this month, but that city’s water crisis is far from the worst water poisoning event in recent history. This month’s list looks at the contenders.


Christopher gasson How do you sell digital?

Christopher Gasson looks at how water’s digital future will become a reality.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: GWI's updated utility capex forecast

This month’s chart shows our updated forecast for global capital expenditure by water and wastewater utilities, and compares it to our previous forecast created for last year’s Global Water Market report.

Chart of the month


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

ABP grabs the bull by its horns with resource recovery drive

Irish beef manufacturer ABP Food Group is turning its own waste into an asset by delving more into the circular economy. GWI discovers how it derives value from its nutrient-rich wastewater and what’s next for the food giant. Read more

Smart Water Watch

Keeping heads above water with satellite image analysis

Satellite image analysis companies such as Utilis and Satelytics are offering utilities a new perspective on their networks. Can this small step offer utilities new insights or is it a giant leap too far? Read more

CTO Outlook

Taking the P in the circular economy

Wabag’s experience as an EPC contractor as well as a solid track record of in-house technology development has put it at the vanguard of innovation. CTO Kim Soerensen shares how Wabag is responding to the key trends of water recycling and more advanced treatment. Read more

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


What does Trump’s $1 trillion plan have in store for water?

The Trump administration has shared precious few details on how its $1 trillion infrastructure plan will mobilise non-federal funds. Water sector observers remain skeptical...

Industrial developer takes a novel approach to the challenges of solar desal in Chile

A large-scale solar desalination project in Chile faces the daunting task of signing up multiple offtakers in the mining industry, each of which has a different investment timetable. Will its flexible production capabilities enable it to succeed where others have failed?

Florida government authority preps $130m O&M reprocurement

A recent realignment of expiry dates means that a trio of water operating contracts are likely to be bid out at the same time next year. The process is likely to attract a lot of attention.

Smart sewers promise $500m capex savings for Indiana city

South Bend has installed one of the world’s largest smart sewer systems, and is now poised to significantly reduce the price tag associated with a federally mandated consent decree. Will smart spending become the new normal in the US water sector?

Suez integrates Optimatics into its network of digital solutions

A new partnership with a fast-growing software start-up will enhance Suez’s suite of digital water capabilities for municipal water networks. Adapting the optimisation engine to address the industrial market will prove more of a challenge.

Eversource enters the US regulated water market with $1.7bn Aquarion purchase

The power utility has diversified its holdings by pulling off the biggest regulated water acquisition in the US for a decade. Is it the precursor to a national roll-up strategy?

Where next for Macquarie in water?

The group has exited two major water investments in the last month. Is it all over?

Cadiz water supply project gains momentum with federal support

With a private finance commitment in place and a regulatory roadblock reversed, the ambitious water supply project in southern California could break ground later this year. Is the new-found optimism justified?

Americas water in brief

Private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to buy HD Supply’s water products distribution business for $2.5 billion, equivalent to around 10 times projected 2017 EBITDA. CD&R previously owned the business before floating it on the stock exchange in 2013.

Asia pacific

A brand new start for smart water

Despite plenty of studies, spending on digital water solutions in Japan has been lacklustre. A younger, more digital-savvy private workforce could reignite the flame...

MSCI decision cracks open the door to a more investible Chinese water stocks universe

The MSCI has given the green light to the inclusion of a small proportion of Chinese ‘A’ shares in its widely tracked Emerging Markets
index. GWI looks at what this could mean for foreign investment in the growing universe of Chinese water stocks.

Watercare privatisation on the cards as Auckland struggles to fund transport plan

New Zealand’s main infrastructure industry body is recommending that Auckland city council sell off its water utility to balance its books ahead of a significant investment in public transport. Watercare CEO Raveen Jaduram discusses the proposal with GWI’s Max Borchardt.

Asia water in brief

Chinese project developer Penyao Environmental Protection, which used to trade on the Singapore stock Exchange as Asia Environment Holdings until it was bought by private equity in 2011, is negotiating a $100 million loan with the International Finance Corporation.

Willy yeo Winning the battle, not the war

How committed is China to tackling its water pollution problem? GWI’s Willy Yeo thinks he has the answer.


European Investment Bank looks to up-risk portfolio

Changing political tides are set to mean a new appetite for risk at the world’s biggest multilateral water lender, with new funding targets lined up at home, overseas, and in industrial and technical spheres. The shadow of Brexit still looms on the horizon, however.

Thames Water’s profits leak away in mixed results season for UK water companies

The new chief executive of the UK’s largest private water provider has come under fire over missed leakage targets, which contributed to an 18.5% drop in operating profits last year. What can the company’s new investors do to protect future dividend flows?

Chinese bidder tees up big wastewater win in Belgrade

An unsolicited bid from a Chinese consortium has the potential to fast-track the construction of a centralised wastewater treatment plant in the Serbian capital. There are still opportunities to get involved in the infrastructure build-out.

Europe water in brief

The Estonian Supreme Court has agreed to open proceedings on water concessionaire Tallinna Vesi’s appeal in cassation regarding the tariff dispute between the company and the Estonian Competition Authority.

David lloyd owen Steppe-ing up to the plate

Turkmenistan faces a costly reality as a result of a legacy of unmonitored subsidy, says David Lloyd Owen.

Middle East and Africa

Ras Al-Khair sale to point the way for Saudi privatisation

Investors are paying heed as Saudi Arabia preps for the flagship sale of the Ras Al-Khair desalination mega-project, a process the Kingdom hopes will be the first of many. What are the issues at stake to make the great Saudi desalination sell-off a success?

Investors profit from desal market dip for IDE stake purchase

The desal firm’s CEO is leading a team of investors in purchasing a 50% stake. The other half may prove harder to pin down.

New plants take the strain in Oman

A period of frenetic desalination plant-building has paid off for the Sultanate, with Muscat set to see a water supply surplus in the country’s key area by next year.

Mekorot taps up Ashdod investor interest as contractor dispute rages on

The Israeli state water company’s foray into project development resulted in an ongoing battle with contractors at the site of one of the country’s major desalination facilities. For the first time it has...

Middle East water in brief

Korean membrane supplier LG Chem has been taken on to supply RO membranes to the new wave of desalination plants springing up in Egypt.

Tom scotney From global to local muni desal

The Arab world is increasingly becoming the arbiter of global desalination market trends, says Tom Scotney.

Bamako leads the way as Mali plans second water treatment roll-out

The West African country has seen a robust amount of construction work in the water sector, with more to come. Is the use of international private finance and operating skill any more than a pipe dream?

Angola eyes PPP roll-out to help strengthen water sector fundamentals

The country will need to address high unaccounted-for water levels, operating deficits, and an immature regulatory framework if it is to rebuild its water sector in a sustainable way. What role can the international private water community play?

Cape Town takes collaborative approach to advanced water treatment options

A new request for information on advanced treatment technologies is the surest sign yet that the authorities in Cape Town are serious about diversifying their water supply options. Flexibility may well prove to be the city’s biggest asset.