Key Trends and Challenges Shaping the Water Industry for 2022

We spoke to six of our Advisory Board members from United Utilities, FIDO, SKION, Singapore PUB, EYDAP and Greater Western Water about the new trends and pain points facing the sector next year.

Kieran Brocklebank, Head of Innovation, UNITED UTILITIES, UK: “Society has big challenges to fix, and solutions are being developed, tested and adopted. I’m optimistic about the water-tech sector and see a marriage of tough challenges with innovative solutions. Only a few years ago, some of today’s available tech was simply a dream and a distant vision. Today, the water sector is alive with new innovations and companies globally realising the potential of artificial intelligence, open data, cloud computing, alternative materials science, recovering resources and keeping materials in the circular economy – working with and for nature.”

Maree Lang, CEO, GREATER WESTERN WATER, AUSTRALIA: “We can unlock deeper value for water planning and management through productive, trusted partnerships. Partnerships are an opportunity to listen, reflect, learn together. Sharing information and insights creates better community outcomes. ​​​​​​Building strong partnerships with First Nations people is a priority. Traditional owners have managed land and water sustainably for thousands of generations and we must seek opportunities to build our collective capacity to develop knowledge and inclusive water management practices together.”

Victoria Edwards, CEO, FIDO, UK: “As Elvis once said: ‘A little less conversation, a little more action.’ The water industry is on the frontline of the climate emergency and needs an urgent process and culture re-set or it will never be forgiven for failing to stop Day Zero. Patting ourselves on the back for innovation and then letting ourselves off the hook for failing to reap the benefits needs to stop right now. Technology is not the enemy. We need strong leadership to sell the message. The world is waiting.”

Reinhard Hübner, CEO, SKION, GERMANY: “With the water sector leaving COVID-19 behind, the key challenges centre around themes such as how to achieve a net zero carbon footprint, increase water use efficiency, recycle or recover wastewater and valuable substances contained in it and eliminate the discharge of harmful substances into nature. This opens many opportunities for water technology companies on top of the urgent need to find solutions to fix the ageing water infrastructure around the world with economical solutions.”

Harry Sachinis, CEO, EYDAP, GREECE: “Smart water technology will constitute the answer to imminent water challenges related to climate change. We need to:

1.  Capitalise on new technologies to provide sustainable solutions
2. Focus on wastewater management and work on cultivating the culture of water re-use
3. Water networks are aging, that’s why automation and IoT could help optimise their operation
4. Non-revenue water and water leakage are key contributors to global water loss
5. Clear water and zero-carbon water without increasing the price of water consumption.

Chee Meng Pang, CTO, SINGAPORE PUB, SINGAPORE: “Climate change is impacting lives and livelihoods around the world. With the global water sector contributing about 5% of greenhouse gas emissions, I expect the water industry will pay greater attention to de-carbonisation and resource recovery, as we strive to make our business truly sustainable for the future. While some of these technologies have shown promise, the key challenge for us is to find a way of integrating them within water facilities to reap greater benefits and synergies, even as we continue to deliver our mission of supplying wholesome drinking water.”

With two full days of action in London complemented by an interactive virtual experience, the hybrid format allows you to connect in-person and online with senior water business leaders around the world.

Partnerships and knowledge sharing have never been more important for the industry as the world starts to move again!

Registration is open now to take advantage of the super early bird, saving you £500 when you book before November 26.