This was an enriching and invigorating event, the first live conference I was able to attend, as most of us, in more than two years.
Under the guidance of its current president and board, the IDA has been broadening the conversation to financial, legal and regulatory topics shaping the desalination and water reuse markets, and I have the honor to co-chair a committee on financial institutions.
One of the panels I participated in included an exciting debate on challenges and opportunities to meet reuse demand for industrial customers. There is significant appetite from water companies and financiers to deliver the required output (e.g., treating effluent up to a required standard so it may be reused) on a long-term basis through a concession-like structure, whereby the industrial client completely outsources its need. This allows the client to focus on its core business, benefiting from sector-specific expertise and management abilities, and to transfer a substantial amount of risk. On the other hand, there are barriers to such structures, such as scale, as they are more complex to put in place.
We will be further developing some of these topics in future issues of amane currents – so watch this space.