Insights

Financing full-cycle innovation: a lesson in humiliation

I faced a humiliating experience of my own making at the Singapore Technology Innovation Summit earlier this month. I was chairing a panel on “financing full cycle innovation”. It was the second-last session of the day: the last was a wrap up session where each of the session chairs was supposed to sum up what had been said. Given that my session had just...

Forget saints and get to work on water’s gravy train

Does the water industry need to recruit more living saints? When you look at the way water leaders are incentivised, it would seem that as an industry, we are heavily reliant on good intentions.

For example, a few years ago we invited an assistant minister responsible for water infrastructure from a middle-income country to speak at our annual conference. I was a little...

The future of water finance in two lines or 127 pages

The High Level Panel on Infrastructure Financing for a Water-Secure World published its latest report this month. It is supposed to send a “wake-up call” for governments to commit to action.

I have a horrible feeling that they will continue to slumber on, not least because this kind of panel is always too wary of frightening the horses to say anything that...

California waves the red flag at big desal projects

Earlier this month the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted new standards for desalination intakes and outfalls. It is a new area of regulation in the US, and the State presumably felt that it wanted to take the lead with a gold standard of environmental protection which might be adopted all over the world, like its successful Title 22 water reuse...

Nine things I learned at the 2015 Global Water Summit

1) Water has a big future in the circular economy: Yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur seemed to come top of everyone’s list of favourite speakers at the event, but it wasn’t her frightening account of racing through the Southern Ocean to be the fastest solo sailor around the world that caught people’s imagination. It was what she did next: set up the Ellen...

An unusual dilemma: sex crimes and global warming

It looks like we lost a speaker for next week’s Global Water Summit in the Indian High Court this morning. Rajendra Pachauri, the former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has been refused permission to travel while he is under investigation for alleged sexual harassment of a member of staff at the Energy and Resources Institute, where he...