Insights

Dilution or concentration? Either way, we are damned

Water efficiency and environmental protection seem increasingly at odds with one another. It is a problem that was highlighted for me this week by my colleague Charlie Walker’s presentation of trends in the water technology market for our WaterData webinar.

Big companies with consumer brands have been under pressure to reduce their water withdrawals....

Let’s make the Right to Reuse a basic human right

I was at the International Desalination Association’s conference in Valencia this week. It was well attended, and raised some interesting questions, but I was left with the feeling that reuse still hasn’t got the momentum behind it that it deserves.

The discussions always seem to end with the fact that consumers are just not ready for direct potable reuse,...

Can’t they deal with wastewater like cockroaches?

I was in Shanghai at the end of last month for the Industrial Water Leaders Forum that we put together for Aquatech China with the support of Ecolab. The event opened my eyes to two things: the huge opportunity in the Chinese industrial wastewater treatment market, and the extraordinary brilliance of Ecolab. Unfortunately the two don’t seem destined to meet.

What...

Sustainability is dead; resilience, dying. What next?

What is the new green buzzword that can be used to sell the water sector? I fear that the ones we have been using for the last decade and a half are both losing currency. “Sustainability” was great for the water sector because it just about summed up everything that we try to do. “Resilience” was also pretty powerful, particularly when trying to...

How Hyflux was brought down by its ambition

Singapore’s Hyflux filed for protection from its creditors earlier this week, as CEO Olivia Lum finally owned up to the fact that her pursuit of the Tuaspring integrated water and power project had all but destroyed the value in the company.

In a letter to shareholders, she explained that “depressed electricity prices in Singapore” had forced the...

When water chemical suppliers become DJs

Solenis pulled off a big deal today, combining its water treatment and paper manufacturing chemicals business with that of BASF in a joint venture which leaves it with 51% of the company. The combined business will have annual revenues of €2.4 billion, putting it just behind Kemira, which had revenues of €2.5 billion in 2017. The deal is thought to enable...