Insights

How corruption works in the water industry

With the Odebrecht scandal continuing to spread across Latin America, it is time for the water industry to stop and think a bit about corruption. Odebrecht was a big player in the Brazilian water industry, serving 17 million people with water and wastewater services, and as details of the parent company’s corruption machine come out in the legal process, it raises...

Banishing the black swans in Madrid

We have had four presidents, one vice president, six Nobel Peace Prize winners, one mad scientist, and one queen. This year, however, the guest speaker whom we have invited to the Global Water Awards is someone whose main contribution to humanity is to have coined a phrase. He is a Lebanese American whose career has bounced between trading on the financial markets,...

Where will the water-energy nexus go in 2017?

Oil matters in two big ways and numerous little ways to the international water business. First, it matters directly because the oil industry is a big producer and consumer of water, and it has specialist treatment needs which are a lucrative niche for many water technology companies. Second, it matters indirectly because some of the biggest oil reserves are in regions...

Eight and a half things I learned in Miami

I have been in Miami this week for our American Water Summit. The event came at a critical time for development in the US water market – here are some of the key points raised by the speakers and delegates.

1) The barriers between the public sector and private sector are coming down. The event attracted the best showing we have ever had from public sector utility...

A tale of two cities and three Ps

I have been in Riyadh and Beijing this week. I was surprised to discover that the governments of both countries are talking the same language: a language with just three letters in the alphabet: P, P, and P.

I am sure the coincidence of this enthusiasm for Public-Private Partnerships says something profound about the state of the global economy, especially as P3 also...

If people don’t trust experts, can they trust water?

I was in Boston last week for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Water Summit. It was a fascinating event focused on the future of the water utility. One exchange, however, seemed to say something discomforting about the outlook for the water sector.

On the stage was Joe Cotruvo, one of the leading water quality scientists in the US, a man responsible for much of...