Insights

Where's the money in Hurricane Harvey's wake?

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last week, he posed an interesting question for the water industry: what kind of opportunity is there in these extreme weather events? I have been hearing a lot of answers over the past week, but there are two big obstacles to stormwater management becoming a strong growth market.

First, there is no business model for funding...

Six things I learned at World Water Week

I have been in Stockholm this week for World Water Week. It is always a good place to gauge the direction of thought in the humanitarian sector of the water industry. Here are my take-aways:

1) Corporate interest in water issues is beginning to flag: On the eve of the conference, the Water Footprint Network announced that it was closing down. It was set up in 2008 to...

The regulators have lost control of the revolution

Are the regulators still in charge of regulation? I ask this question after looking at some of the work that is going into our new GWI Global Regulations Package. It will comprise a regulations database hosted on WaterData and a GWI Market Insight commentary on the related growth opportunities. This last part got me thinking: regulations drive growth in the water...

Let’s make this just the beginning for desal

I am standing for the board of the International Desalination Association. The voting process starts this week. It is not the best moment for the Association. As the desalination industry has struggled to recover its momentum, it has become progressively riven by internal conflict: between the board and the paid staff, between supporters of the Makhzoumi family (whose...

Stopping the invasion of the fleshmongers

So CH2M is not going to do anything interesting with the money it raised from Apollo Capital Management in 2015-16. Instead, it is going the way of MWH Global, Atkins, and Amec Foster Wheeler to become another redundant brand left on the roadside by the juggernaut of engineering industry consolidation. It is difficult not to feel disappointed. CH2M is one of the best....

Is private water 96% ownership and 4% expertise?

Two sales in the US market over the past month make a very expressive point about where value lies in the utility sector. Both companies had revenues in the region of $200 million and managed water utilities and related assets. One of them, Severn Trent Services North America, did not own the assets it managed, and was sold for $62 million to two private equity buyers....