Insights

Corporate water risk and burned-out wind turbines

I was in Johannesburg on Monday this week for a Water4Growth workshop with local industrial water users. We had a good turnout representing a cross-section of South African industry, including Eskom, Anglo American, Nestlé, and BMW. The idea of Water4Growth, which is an initiative of the Global Water Leaders Group, is to create a platform to engage industrial...

Where is the action in today’s global water market?

It has always been my belief that the water business is always growing, but at any one time some parts of it may be going backwards and others racing ahead. The trick is to position your business where the action is.

It is much easier to tell where the market has moved away from than where it has moved to. Low oil and minerals prices have put the dampeners on demand for...

Will sewers still exist in the city of the future?

I have been thinking about this question as part of my work for the Global Agenda Council on Water for the World Economic Forum. We have been tasked with developing a new model for water access which encompasses the whole cycle, from source to wastewater return. Water access on its own is a big challenge, but when you add wastewater it dramatically increases the cost...

A military solution to water’s innovation barriers

Is the industrial market for water technology going to be a bigger deal than the municipal market? It is a question I found myself asking after reading our magnificent Industrial Water Technology Market report.

Just as the military are credited with inventing all sorts of things – like the Internet, tinned food, and microwave ovens – that turned out to be...

A new model for water access from the snows of Davos

Earlier this week, the World Economic Forum announced that water crises are the top global risk, according to its annual survey of the world’s most critical issues among nearly 900 leaders in politics, business, and civic life. It is nice to see water moving up the agenda, but my feeling is that the talk about the water-food-energy nexus is becoming a little bit...

Private water’s brighter but fragmented future

 

I have been putting the finishing touches to our new market report on private sector participation in the water sector. It makes interesting reading. The premise of the report is that the public sector is under greater pressure than ever to do more with less, but still has concerns about ceding control to the private sector. The opportunities lie in business...