Insights

The point of minimum economic visibility

It is difficult not to feel that the global economy has hit a fog patch, in which it is difficult to see the best way forward. The recovery in Europe and North America seems to be levelling out. The Middle East region – which has delivered dependable growth for the water sector for the past decade – is beset by political uncertainty.

China seems to have put...

Will Eastern utilities triumph again in 2011?

When it comes to water in the U.S., the saying ‘East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet’ feels strangely familiar. Certainly, the drivers that made 2010 a strong one for East Coast utilities did not play out as favorably on the West Coast.

 
On the East Coast, the drivers include unpredictable weather, aging infrastructure,...

Not all its frac’ed up to be

If you are interested in water, you are likely to have been overwhelmed by the amount of news relating to frac water for the Marcellus Shale thrown your way in recent months. Anyone would think that treating water to fracture rock in the gas industry was about to become the biggest market imaginable for the water industry.

Having just read our new report on the Produced...

Winning the war on corruption and incompetence

Will the new governments in North Africa continue to turn against private sector participation as they move to root out corruption and incompetence in government? Oxford academic Walter Armbrust, writing for the Arab Studies Institute (in a comment piece reproduced on aljazeera.com), blames “neo-liberal economics” for the billion dollar fortunes accumulated...

Is thermal desalination greener than it looks?

Doosan’s $124 million deal to build a 68,000m³/d multiple effect distillation plant for the Saline Water Conversion Corporation in Saudi Arabia seems to be a big vote in favour of thermal desalination.

On the face of things, the outlook for thermal does not look good. With the oil price back above $100 per barrel, the economics of thermal desalination start to...

When will China start to crack the global market?

To date, the rise of China has had virtually no impact on the international water market. Few significant contracts have been won by Chinese companies, and Chinese brands are not making headway against international brands in any significant technology areas. There are some exceptions. Beijing Sound has had some success in the Middle East, and ROPV could be said to be...