“In a world of resource scarcity and economy, waste and wastewater are at the heart of the ecological transition and of societal, economic and environmental issues. Over the next 10 years, these sectors will face at least three extraordinary challenges: the convergence between clean and renewable energy and waste and wastewater; the tightening of standards, especially at the European level (particularly the elimination of micro-pollutants), which will require more R&D; technology and investment; and finally the preservation of resources through re-use and recycling.”

Julien Touati
Partner, corporate development director
Meridiam

“Over the next decade, the waste and wastewater management sectors will converge as increasing quantities of carbonaceous food, agriculture and animal waste are co-digested with wastewater sludge. Research has established that co-digestion of organic waste with sludge increases its carbon/nitrogen and volatile solid ratios, resulting in more efficient methane generation. Public and private investment in retrofitting co-digestion capabilities onto existing wastewater facilities will be spurred by (i) organic diversion regulation of food waste, (ii) growing clean energy markets to utilise the renewable natural gas that results from co-digestion, and (iii) the stimulus provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Adam Bernstein
Managing director
North Sky Capital

“In many markets, such as the UK, a step-change in the investment levels allowed by regulators is required to improve water scarcity and asset resilience, given the challenges posed from climate change, population growth and higher environmental standards. We believe nature-based solutions can play a meaningful role in helping to reduce urban water run-off, expand the organic treatment of wastewater, and increase water reclamation. These innovations will also help minimise the carbon footprint of the sector. We believe pricing models also need to evolve. We support wider use of social tariffs, which provide significant discounts to vulnerable customers, as well as an introduction of progressive pricing to discourage excessive water consumption.”

Will Price
Head of utilities, EMEA
Macquarie Asset Management