Insights

Wishing our readers a Happy New Financial System!

The big change in the water sector over the next decade is going to be the change in capital flows. The financial models which have shaped the global water market in the past are evolving, and this year will mark the turning point.

Two big trends are coming together: at the top level, Washington-backed international financial institutions are looking for ways to do more...

Calculating the value of water in the age of data

One of the amusing things about a tech bubble is the ever more spurious reasons that pundits come up with in order to justify pushing prices higher. Uber, for example, when it was trying to justify a valuation of $70 billion while making annual losses of $2.8 billion, had to pretend that it was not just going to take a share of the taxi business (which is worth around...

Getting realistic but not pessimistic about desal

I have just finished presenting our updated desalination market forecast for DesalData subscribers. It involved carving 5 million m3/d of expected new capacity out of our previous forecast. There were two main reasons for this adjustment. The first is actually a good thing in the grand scheme of things, but less good from a desal perspective: utilities and governments...

Worried about floods? Better build a stadium!

At the opening plenary of our American Water Summit yesterday I caught a glimpse of how awesome it is to be American. It was after a heart-rending presentation by Yvonne Forrest, the deputy director of Houston Water, about how her utility coped in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. I used our audience response system to ask the 380 or so water professionals attending the...

What I want to hear at the American Water Summit

The US water market has become pretty perplexing this year. There is a lot going on, but in contradictory directions. On the one hand, the official statistics on market spend look extremely grim, but on the other hand, traded companies are reporting pretty buoyant results. We have seen a return to fashion of water pure-plays on the equipment side (with Evoqua’s...

Six thoughts from Amsterdam International Water Week

1) Floods are the new droughts: Five years ago, the big conversation around water was about scarcity. It reflected a broader vision of the world in which growing the economy in the face of resource constraints (as evidenced by $100-a-barrel oil) was the central challenge. Today when people talk about climate change, it is the flooding side of extreme weather that gets...