Water Industry Lessons & Predictions from a Newbie

Written by: Kaitlin Delke

I joined Transcend in September of 2021 and knew absolutely nothing about the water industry. Here’s a bit about what I’ve learned and some predictions in the coming years. With the ongoing uncertainty with respect to the global pandemic, I expect to see an increase in the adoption of digital solutions in 2022. Remote working has created a more connected digital environment that has demonstrated the value of this new way of working. I see a transition from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” in order to meet expected outcomes. There is more focus and emphasis on sustainability, affordability, and the environment. This will continue to evolve and bring more complexity to the decision-making process throughout the world.

With infrastructure expenditure expected to increase in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and other regions of the world, 2022 will be a significant year for water. Transcend’s CEO, Ari Raivetz adds, “It reminds me of the large post-2008 expenditure phase in the US when the term “shovel ready” became crucial.” All asset owners will be formulating capital spending plans throughout the year. This also entails utilities researching new technologies and designs to handle today’s challenges and the unknowns of tomorrow.

With microplastics in water being one of the most pressing issues in the water industry right now, recycling is expected to increase in 2022. However, as companies gain confidence in experimenting with new AI technologies, digital transformation of capital planning operations will become the new standard. This will enable innovative solutions that will have a significant impact on our global environment.

Companies to pay attention to in 2022 within the water industry are Veolia and Suez, in light of the merger. Saur with a chance to step into the #2 spot. Manila Water and Maynilad starting their capital planning process. Massive changes are on the way for these big water utilities, with the most significant fundamental adjustments taking effect in 2022.

The most exciting water startups to highlight is Transcend of course. A couple of others to mention are 120 Water and Epic Cleantech.

One hope for 2022 is that utilities explore all possibilities before establishing a budget and beginning construction. Considering various possibilities to not only avoid future difficulties but also capturing long-term benefits in the process.

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