Whether the drought out West breaks or not, whether global warming will exacerbate the need for new water technology or not, one thing is clear — water infrastructure in the United States needs an upgrade. The question is how will the needed projects be delivered?
Industry players say water infrastructure projects in the United States are ripe for the P3 model because of a highly fragmented market, tight municipal budgets, and the recognition that building and operating increasingly complex water projects is not a “core competency” for local governments. There have been promising signs, but the market is clearly still emerging, limited by factors related to P3s in general and by water P3s in particular.
“There is not going to be a big-bang effect where multiple cities start water and wastewater P3 programs,” says Jeff Murphy, portfolio manager, vice president at Ullico Investment Advisors. “Certain municipalities have started to embrace the approach; for ot