Insights

Can international trade beat isolationist politics?

It is almost a truism to say that countries that are new to the global market don’t have money. Economic isolation takes its toll. It means that while we can get excited about the potential size of the Iranian market, that excitement has always got to be tempered with the knowledge that it is not a land flowing with dollars just itching to get into the pockets of...

Will big data lead to a dumb future for smart water?

A few weeks back I met up with Veolia’s Laurent Auguste in London. I have always rated him as one of our industry’s great visionaries, and we were talking about machine learning in the context of the impact of big data on the water industry. “It is scary,” he remarked. “One day they might put us out of business.”

On the face of it...

Is the water pollution pendulum about to swing back?

Wastewater treatment policy is a continuous battle between two things nobody likes: water pollution, and paying to clean it up. I was reminded of this fact by a couple of stories in the July issue of GWI. The first was an analysis of US discharge permit violations data from the Environmental Protection Agency. It showed that 65% of all major utility wastewater treatment...

How will water’s garage sale change the industry?

This month’s GWI magazine has a great story by our editor Ian Elkins on the flood of water businesses currently on the market. He names seven companies with revenues in excess of $100 million that are potentially on the block, as well as a couple of smaller opportunities, but my belief is that there is a lot more on the market.

It reflects a number of trends,...

What is coming this way from China?

I was in Shanghai last week for the two workshops we arranged to run alongside the Aquatech China 2016 trade show. One was focused on the opportunities in industrial wastewater treatment arising from the Water Ten Rules; the other focused on how Chinese water companies could follow the One Belt, One Road policy of developing new markets along the old Silk Road. It is...

China versus nativism in the battle for global water

In two weeks’ time I will be rushing home from a meeting of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform in Brussels to vote in the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

There are no prizes for guessing which way I would be voting. You can’t run a magazine with the name “Global” in the title and support nativism in...