Welcome to Global Water Summit 2015 | Athens, Greece
The Water Value Revolution
“Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarcely anything; scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)
Imagine if the great economist were to be proved wrong after 238 years? It would change not just the face of our industry, but the face of the earth. Where economics currently works against protecting, distributing and enhancing our water resources, it would work forwards. It would attract capital into the sector, encourage careful management of nature’s most precious gift, and put a premium on the technologies which enhance and protect our supplies.
It is not a pipe dream. The world is already changing. Consider four themes:
- Finance: the financial crisis has forced governments to reconsider the way they price and finance water, just as the investment world is beginning to see the potential for long term yields from the water industry
- Customer engagement: old state monopoly attitudes in the utility sector are changing. Instead we are seeing utilities actively marketing themselves to consumers, promoting what they can do in terms of greening cities, smart networks, and delivering a branded, modern service offering
- Creating value in industry: corporate water users are beginning to look at water in a new way. Rather than a free raw material to be used and abused as they choose, businesses are beginning to see the opportunity to benefit both the environment and their shareholders through better water stewardship
- Water for growth: bringing together all these themes is the growing link between water and economic development. The emergence of water innovation clusters around the world, increased investment in new water technologies and the simple fact that without investment in water some of the world’s most productive economic regions could misfire, all bear witness to the fact that water is becoming more important as an economic driver
This year’s global water summit will focus on these four themes. In bringing together government and utilities leaders, senior executives from across the global water industry, pivotal corporate water users and investors, the ambition is not to dream. It is a revolution in the role of water in the global economy.
It may be happening anyway. In ten or twenty years we will be living in a very different world from a water perspective, but how much longer can you live under Adam Smith’s Paradox of Value? The purpose of high level events like the Global Water Summit, which bring together all the key players in an industry, is to accelerate change.
Testimonials for GWS Paris, April 2014
No front page content has been created yet.