Press Release Environmental Technologies

“Water – the new oil”

Berlin (gtai) - When asked at the recent Globe environmental conference in Vancouver where the best investments in clean technology could be made over the next few years, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was unequivocal with one of his answers.

“Water,” he said. “Water is the oil of the 21st century. Wars are going to be fought over water and it needs to be managed better, politically and economically.”

Waste water especially is an area requiring constant technological improvement and investment, which is why the subject is high on the agenda at the forthcoming IFAT in Munich, from May 5-9 inclusive, where Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) can help discover what makes the country a pioneer in these critical technological fields.

“The world population is growing at a rate faster than many environmental resources can handle, especially water,” said Flérida Regueira, Senior Manager of Environmental Technologies at GTAI. “Developing and implementing technologies to address these problems require social and political change as well as technological advance. Germany’s record in setting and pursuing environmental agendas, as well as the research and development strength of the country, makes it a global leader in technology and development necessary to address these environmental issues.”

Pockets of America are starting to pay more attention to the effects of water on the economy – and of the reviving economy on water – while the political clout of good water management is also being discovered. 36 of the 52 states are anticipating some form of chronic water shortage within the next few years, while a recent survey noted that six out of every ten Americans would pay more for their water if the supply were to be made more resilient as a result. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn raised $1bn to improve his state’s water infrastructure, doubling the amount to $2bn early this year.

Infrastructural improvements need to be made, but there is a developing argument in the USA for technological change as well.

Germany’s pioneering record in environmental policy is well-recorded, but the continued devotion to R&D activities is keeping the country at the cutting edge. 41 of the researchers on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were German, while the spend on research facilities for climate change solutions in 2013 was EUR 750m.

Germany lays claim to a 15 per cent share of the enhanced environmental technology market, according to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), which estimates that by 2025, global revenues in the sector will reach EUR 4400bn.

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