Overcoming economic pressures in the water industry

Innovation should be facilitated to discover the next big idea and a closer collaboration with all stakeholders to create "one voice" to help overcome economic pressures in the water industry, a new white paper has recommended...

LOS ANGELES, CA, Oct. 18, 2011 -- Innovation should be facilitated to discover the next big idea and a closer collaboration with all stakeholders to create "one voice" to help overcome economic pressures in the water industry.

These are two out of six recommendations put forward in a white paper, directed towards water utilities and other industry leaders to help in economically difficult times.

Other recommendations included: finding new business opportunities or revenue streams and then, once identified, put them into play; determine the best source or mix of new and established financing options; reach out to educate the public about water issues and finally, optimise assets to control costs.

The recommendations were launched at the WEFTEC event taking place this week in Los Angeles, by consultancy Black & Veatch from its Water Dialogue series. This comprised round-table discussions with about 90 water industry thought leaders over the course of six conferences.

Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch's global water business, said: "Increasing water infrastructure investments will provide much needed jobs and avert looming disasters in the process. While roads, bridges, and rail are important investments, the most vital infrastructure is the delivery and treatment of water. In many places future water resources are underfunded or not funded at all.

"Economic pressures have challenged all of us to think differently and develop new strategies," McCarthy said. "With the current level of funding for municipal water systems it calls for a 'new deal' type of arrangement -- a combination of investors unlike any other approach tried before. History is no longer the guiding light for managing this precious resource."

###

- Links to the white paper, other background materials and published articles about each individual round table discussion are also available at: www.waterdialogue.com

More in Drinking Water