Insights

Six things I learned at the American Water Summit

I am just back from our American Water Summit in Denver. It turned out to be a great event despite the overloading of water conferences at this time of year. The main take aways for me were as follows:

1) The public sector is now much more open minded about working with the private sector: We were most grateful for the support of the National Association of Clean Water...

When did running a water utility become a belief?

“I cannot in good conscience participate in a meeting sponsored by an organization that is at such direct odds with my own beliefs.  I understand there are a wide range of public-private partnerships (many of which I support); however, I feel the majority of the GWI readers/members are in agreement with Mr. Gasson’s views and share the goal of expanding...

Futurology is a mug’s game, but we all have to do it

“If you’re so rich, why aren’t you so smart?”

This is the question that author and investment guru Nicholas Nassim Taleb asks of a successful futures trader in his book ‘Fooled By Randomness’. The point he is trying to make is that most business success results from lucky timing, but many successful people are stupid enough to...

Four things I learned in San Diego

I was in San Diego this week for the International Desalination Association World Congress. These are my thoughts on the event:

California isn’t that interested in desalination

We went there expecting to be mobbed by Californian water agencies searching for solutions to their millennial drought. Instead we found ourselves largely ignored by the locals. There are a...

A profitable lesson from the non-profit sector

I have been in Stockholm this week for World Water Week.  It is where water NGOs, academics, government aid agencies and international financiers go each year to exchange ideas and raise funding. Historically it was a relatively hostile place for businesses, but times have changed. The big funders of water projects these days are the likes of Coca-Cola, HSBC and...

Is the water industry ready for another roll-up?

What is right for the water industry at this minute in time? I have been thinking about this question for two reasons. First, because of my work with Amane Advisors, I am now more involved in advising on corporate strategy, and if you are going to tell someone that they should do something, you need to have a coherent story about why they should do it now. Second,...