Kicking the year off with a bang, our annual Top 25 Global Water Leaders initiative is the strongest line-up we’ve published yet.
Tom Freyberg, Chief editor
Happy 2018 to all of you and welcome back. I’m not going to use the opening Editor’s Note of 2018 to vent about failed New Year’s resolutions, or the inevitable gluttony over the Festive period; most of you know my views on this by now!
Instead, I want to take this opportunity to once again introduce our annual Top 25 Global Water Leaders initiative in this issue. Towards the end of each year, I receive countless emails from many of you eagerly asking for updates on this: who’s been nominated, who’s won, how do I vote etc. While I have been sworn to secrecy on the results to date, we can now reveal the Top 25, as well as the overall winner: Carlos Cosín. Congratulations Carlos and to each and every one of you who made this list!
This year we have put a focus on active individuals in the water business. In the past we have widened the net to include legendary academics, NGOs and thought leaders in the listing. Yet this year, business is business and we asked our Advisory Panel to nominate active professionals engaged in the delivery of water services and projects. I believe it’s the strongest line-up we’ve featured in the initiative’s four-year lifespan. New to this year’s Top 25 is a UK utility CEO, as well as cosmetics giant, L’Oreal – demonstrating the importance of industrial water development in the mix.
Elsewhere in the issue, it may seem that we have two features which directly contradict each other. One is showing that algae and algal blooms are an enemy; the other that they are a friend. Fear not, this isn’t an oversight. On page 20 you will read an article which provides practical advice for desalination plants facing the threat of algal blooms. Note, this is not hyperbolic theory of how plants could face algae. It’s practical information taken from sites that have faced blooms and come out on the other side successful.
Meanwhile, on page 14 we look at the latest on the All-Gas project in Chiclana, Spain which is turning the water industry’s pre-conceptions on their head: algae can be a friend, not a foe. Interestingly this European funded initiative is growing algae using nutrients in wastewater, which is then used to generate a biogas. Results to date look impressive with the biogas providing more distance than conventional biofuels. Be sure to check out the interview with project manager Frank Rogalla now online for more information on this.
Looking ahead, 2018 is going to be a busy year on the international event circuit, starting with the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, WEX in Portugal, IFAT in Germany and the Aquatech shows in China and Mexico. If that wasn’t enough, the IWA World Congress will be held in Tokyo, Japan later in the year. Although Brexit negotiations are embarrassingly creeping along here in the UK, I’m still proud to be part of a global industry which often has to rally together to provide solutions to local problems.
I hope to bump into the many of the Top 25, as well as many of you during my travels and reporting on the latest in the global water market. Enjoy the issue and I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.