Three Industries Shaping Industrial Water Management

11 Jun 2024  |  Episode #96  |  with Reese Tisdale, Amber Walsh

Podcast host Reese Tisdale talks with Bluefield Analyst Amber Walsh to get the low down on top takeaways from Q2 industrial water analysis. Industrial water markets are seeing a lot of change—from rising demand for data, the energy transition, and a focus on corporate sustainability strategies. In this discussion, Bluefield’s water experts share their insights on three hot industries making waves in industrial water management + corporate sustainability, highlighting key water events and trends impacting they way in which companies respond to and address water management challenges and opportunities.

Discussed in the podcast:

1. Bluefield keeps a close eye on government funding in the semiconductor manufacturing industry because of all the capital going towards Greenfield development—and with that comes water management spend and innovative solutions (i.e., reuse) especially in areas of water stress. In Q1, there were questions around the status of government funds from the U.S. CHIPS Act and market challenges. Q2 analysis shows the slow roll out of funds to semiconductor manufacturers GlobalFoundries, TSMC, Micron, Intel, and Samsung. What is the status of the funds and how are these companies responding?

2. In the hydrogen space, although still in early development, we are seeing significant investment being poured into green hydrogen. As Bluefield follows the money, we are expecting this to drive water management opportunities. As water is a key input in hydrogen production—and nearly 2,000 projects have been announced worldwide—Bluefield is estimating US$26.3 billion to be spent on water management in this sector through 2030. 

3. Bluefield is tracking several trends in the food & beverage industry. Wastewater treatment remains a large area of spend for these facilities, increasingly stringent discharge regulations are pushing for advanced treatment. What is the impact of municipal surcharges for treatment that can range from a couple thousand dollars annually to millions? And how are companies dealing with higher operational costs and commodity prices?

4. Let’s not forget about corporate sustainability. What is the reality of corporate sustainability in industrial water? Is it a driving factor in corporate water management decisions? Companies have largely been motivated to set water reduction targets and disclose water use. But what does this mean and is the goal actually meaningful? How do ‘replenishment projects’ work and what are attractive ‘sustainable’ business models (i.e., Water-as-a-service, operation management contracts).  

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The Future of Water podcast series is where Bluefield water experts talk about all the ways in which companies, utilities, and people are addressing the challenges and opportunities in water. Thank you for listening. Refer your colleagues. Please give us a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.