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🔬 "Six Trends Shaping the Longer-Term Outlook for Water"

The Future of Water

Photo by Patrick Perkins / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Reese Tisdale
Guests: Eric Bindler | Research Director | Bluefield Research &
John Berryman | Sales Director | Bluefield Research
Category: 🔬 Research | Water Trends

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Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[7:44] RT: “[Trend number] one is water quality. […] The infrastructure investment jobs act [included] $25 billion […] allocated to PFAS, and emerging contaminants, as well as lead. […] There seems to be real momentum that, quite honestly, two years ago, we didn't really see.”

[11:59] EB: “Theme number two that we called out [is the] landscape for infrastructure funding. […] In the US in particular, but also around the world, in Europe and Australia […] we're seeing this move to post COVID infrastructure stimulus funding. […] But there are just a lot of questions as to what the impact is actually going to be. […] In three to five years, we'll maybe have some more clarity around just how transformative these funding packages end up being.”

[17:41] RT: “[Another topic] would be just alternative sources of water. We've talked a fair amount about desalination. Historically, a lot of that really is outside of the US. But within the US, what we are looking more closely at […] is things like wastewater reuse, or water reuse, depending on how you want to frame it as far as branding goes. […] There has been a big focus and for good reason on the Western US, […] where the water scarcity is. […] But what we're also starting to see is a movement East. […] Things like saltwater intrusion become a real problem for utilities and water supplies, and that is going to drive more reuse systems.”

[22:47] EB: “Number four […] is really the energy transition. […] The global water wastewater sector accounts for about 2% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, which it's not a huge share by any means, but it is a significant share. […] If we're talking about significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, net zero by 2050 […] the utility sector needs to do what they can to reduce their own footprint. […] There's a lot of carbon dioxide burned to pump water and wastewater around the world. […] And wastewater treatment is one of the leading emitters of methane around the world. 10 to 15% of global methane emissions, I believe, come from the wastewater treatment sector. So a lot of things that utilities can do to kind of green their own operations, whether it be in optimizing their treatment in their pump operations, or in just shifting more to renewable energy to power their own operations, to EV fleets and digital technology to better monitor and manage resources.”

[28:51] RT: “[The next trend is] infrastructure convergence. […] We've got energy players in the space [that] are acquiring assets. So they have their different perspectives on where the opportunities are. […] This past year, we saw over 200 utility acquisitions in the US.”

[34:41] EB: “When we think about the future of the mid to long term evolution of the digital water market, we're going to need to see more adoption at the lower end of the [utility] scale. We're going to need to see vendors really find ways of getting technology into the hands of those smaller operators. […] What we're going to need to see is new business models, new technologies, new price points, just new marketing strategies that are really targeted at finding ways to make this technology accessible to small utilities. […] It's going to be [about the] democratization of technology.

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🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 42 min | 🗓️ 05/03/2022
✅ Time saved: 40 min

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