On the heels of World Water Day, a new report by Frost and Sullivan reveals that amidst “growing global concern about water quality and scarcity,” the reduction of water footprints at the corporate and industrial level is “emerging as a competitive tool for food and beverage manufacturers”
Water Quality and Scarcity -- Challenges and Opportunities for the Global Food and Beverage Industry.
Frost and Sullivan also reports that “increasing focus to reduce water footprint will drive” both the global food and beverage industry as well as the water and wastewater treatment market, which the agency estimates will reach $5 billion by 2020.
“Given the significant volume of water required for food and beverage production, combined with growing population and increasing water stress, there is a vast need to implement sustainable water management practices,” explained Paulina Szyplinska, Water and Wastewater Research Analyst, in a complimentary online conference. “Increasing water stress and quality problems as well as climate-related impact are expected to be a major risk associated with food and beverage businesses in the years ahead. Therefore, sustainable solutions in food and beverage industry have never been more important.”
Some predictions and prognostications by Frost & Sullivan (as reported by Forbes) include:
* “Advanced treatment technologies, including modern membrane and disinfection systems, are projected to be widely applied in the food and beverage industry.”
* “Rising concerns over global water protection and increasingly stringent legislative regulations are expected to increase investment into tertiary, advanced, and sludge treatment equipment.”
* Increased focus on water efficiency by food and beverage companies will “create high investment potential with significant opportunities for companies in a number of segments as customers increasingly seek comprehensive solution providers in this highly competitive market.”
* Stringent treatment requirements and outsourcing of water-related will become “a significant trend in the market with customers increasingly responding to wider service options.”
In another report, Forbes also reports on the views of one venture capitalist who anticipated the potential for profits in water efficiency, and has parlayed that prescience into real financial gain. Six years ago, Forbes reports, David Henderson, managing director of XPV Capital in Toronto, realized “there were real returns in water.”
“There was this whole world where water is mission critical, and these water processes enable pretty well everything on the planet,” Henderson is quoted as saying. “You start to see that there’s a very strong value proposition for water technologies that can bring efficiencies or improve security or quality in those processes.”
The entire interview with Henderson is worth a look, but what I found most compelling was his assertion that infrastructure requirements are sparking the need for water efficiency investments. Henderson sees water infrastructure challenges as opportunities—a chance to relive the construction boom of the post World War II era. And it’s not just the US that needs a major overhaul, the developing world is also experiencing exponential demand: thanks in part to booming economies and an ever-growing middle class.
Other factors contributing to the boom in the water efficiency economy:
* Increased industrialization creating a demand for “better wastewater treatment in industrial applications and demand for water generally.”
* The impact of climate change on the planet’s hydrological systems.
* Cities getting much more aggressive about “inefficiencies in their systems because of the financing collapse and the state of government balance sheets.”
* The water/energy nexus. “All those energy guys are starting to think about water. That’s where innovation sparks,” says Henderson.
* Globalization, which allows companies to “peddle their innovations worldwide.”
So what do you think? Can we depend on global demand to spark innovation on local or national scale? If the money guys are point at water efficiency as the next big thing, how long before real dollars start to flow towards the projects that need it most? And can we trust the financiers and the venture capitalists when it comes to something as important as our water infrastructure?
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
April 5th, 2012
for Surface Water Quality (new date added)
Constantly influenced by natural eutrophication, direct human impact, and a changing climate, surface water is a scarce natural resource needing effective protection. Join Shahram (Shane) Missaghi to explore the function and benefits of BMPs in protecting surface water, and examine three key criteria to insure their successful implementation: water, soil, and climate Read more...
April 12th, 2012
Water Auditing 101
Reduce your water waste and cost! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC to explore the key attributes, uses, and efficiency/cost opportunities of water audits. Aichele will lead a discussion of what a water audit includes, who performs the audit, where and when they should and can be performed, and the opportunities that exist in performing a water audit. Join us and gain an understanding of the potential savings possible, rebates available, and how quickly this unobtrusive work can be implemented from audit to installation to optimize your water use and minimize your cost. Read more...
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).