Insights

Crocodiles and gnus in Iran’s water market

I have been in Tehran this week for the first Iranian Water Summit. I say first, because attendance far exceeded my expectations, and what we are seeing in Iran today is just the beginning of something that is going to grow and grow.

Victor Garnreiter, Suez’s VP for International Development, captured the mood of the meeting with a great metaphor for the current...

Will digital water flood us with M&A deals?

The next big consolidation in the water sector is going to involve monitoring, control and data management. That is my conclusion from reading some of the early drafts of our new report, Water’s Digital Future: the outlook for monitoring, control and data management systems.

Historically this area has been highly fragmented with a number of specialist...

The Wizard of Oz to advise water’s High-Level Panel

I was in Stockholm last week for World Water Week. A lot of the talk was about the High-Level Panel on water that has been organised by the United Nations and the World Bank. This is headed by the presidents of Mexico and Mauritius, and includes the premiers of Senegal, the Netherlands, Hungary, Tajikistan, Jordan, Bangladesh, Australia, and South Africa. Water is not...

Water pricing in the real world

How much do people pay for water when they don’t have a utility service? It is an important question because it is only when you can see what people are already paying that the economics of extending utility services become obvious.

In this month’s Global Water Intelligence David Lloyd Owen has collected some data on the price of water from informal vendors...

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...