- March 1, 2015: Vol. 8, Number 3

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Glass half full: U.S. water infrastructure is desperate for capital and private investors have a role to play

by Drew Campbell

Ask someone with an understanding of water infrastructure in the United States about prospects for private investment in the sector, and at first their ears perk up because the possibilities seem endless.

I recently spoke with one such person: Michael Likosky, who is joining 32 Advisors as a principal to run its P3 and infrastructure practice. He also advises the OECD, the U.N. and governments at all levels as well as the private sector.

The deeper you get into a discussion about the U.S. water market, the more it becomes clear the opportunity also comes with challenges that are unique to the sector. In particular, the U.S. water market’s highly fragmented nature makes it different from other infrastructure sectors. The United States has some 53,000 water systems, or about one for every 4,700 people, something that American Water Corp. — the country’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility — characterizes as “severe” fragmentation. That means

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