The Water Business

The Water Business May 24, 2019Leave a comment

You can do without most things for weeks (electricity, mobile phones, lunch, taxes, your ex-spouse…), but water is a must-have. 

Most people in the developed world need about two litres of water daily for drinking. Do you know how many litres we each need daily for eating? About two thousand.

Water, its production, use and disposal, is a BIG and growing business worldwide. Water for eating (all that goes into producing the food we put on the table) is only part of this. Producing clean water for drinking is relatively easy; using it efficiently in irrigation (close to 70% of the world’s water uptake) and process industries is a bit harder; and treating it properly to put it safely back into the environment is harder still.

There are no dominant actors in the water business, but Veolia and Suez, both French and merged since 2022, are the biggest and only global operators that both manage water supply and are active in all aspects of its treatment. And their local markets are growing: 45% of Europe’s existing infrastructure needs to be replaced in the next five years. A large percentage of water treatment plants are still being operated below achievable performance.

If you have technology that saves water, produces it more efficiently, or reduces the energy and chemicals that go into treating it, then you have a market in Europe.

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