Insights

How many water clusters does the world need?

I have been in the Netherlands this week to speak at the Wetsus event in Leeuwarden. The subject was know-how clusters in the water sector. It seems that everyone wants a cluster these days.

The idea grew out of the American economist Michael Porter’s book, The Competitive Advantage of Nations. He goes back through history looking at why different industries (like...

Protecting Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical birthright

I have been in Jeddah this week for the Saudi Water and Power Forum. The big news for me was the evolution of the water minister’s position on paying for water. Previously, he has always preferred the idea of promoting water saving rather than tariff rises, but at the SWPF this year he was quite explicit about the need to increase water tariffs for the first time....

The road to Texas

It has been a long and dusty road from Oxford, England, to Austin, Texas, where we are proud to introduce the debut issue of American Water Intelligence.

AWI is especially proud to have set up shop here in the heart of Texas, which is the crossroads for water issues in many ways. Texas is home to many of the largest energy companies, who depend heavily on water for many...

“In my country there is no politics, only economics”

I was in Brussels yesterday. It wasn’t a great day to go. There was a massive trades union demonstration. I asked one of the banner carriers what it was all about, and she explained that they were there “to fight privatisation as a response to austerity in Europe”.

Finding my way out of Brussels by car, I passed a column of Veolia Transport buses...

Updated desalination market guidance

Yesterday I gave a webinar presentation outlining our new guidance for the desalination market. It involved a significant downgrade in the outlook for the current year. Instead of looking for 6.3 million m³/d of new contracted capacity in 2010, we are now expecting just 4.7 million m³/d of new capacity, 1 million m³/d of which is accounted for by the Ras Azzour project...

Thinking of buying Potash Corporation? Try water

It is not immediately obvious, but BHP Billiton’s bid for Potash Corporation highlights the opportunity ahead for the water sector. The thinking behind the $39 billion bid is that there is a growing shortage of the mineral at the very moment that agricultural demand is accelerating.

If you are a natural resources company like BHP, and you want to invest to...