With water being the most indispensable and scarce commodity on Earth, humanity needs to find ways to use it in the most rational and efficient ways. Picking Alpha is discussing Venture Capital investments in water sector with a Pioneer Venture Capital Investor in CleanTech – Gina Domanig, Managing Partner at Emerald Technology Ventures.
Gina Domanig talks about investment risks and challenges in water sector, and gives her insights on logic behind water investments. As one of the leading experts in the industry she states her point of view on Green investments and main factors behind final investment decisions.
While many countries are facing the water scarcity problem, not so many governments have set up a favorable for investments infrastructure in water sector. In our conversation with Mrs. Domanig we inquired about Long Term Infrastructure Investments vs. market attractiveness for VC, also we asked her to possibly name countries with a favorable investment environment for water sector.
G.D.: We do not do infrastructure investments; we invest in companies that are developing technologies that would be later adopted in projects or in regular operations of existing plants. I have to say there are pockets of Sunshine within the water sector; Australia is a fantastic geography for whatever reason the problem has to do with such a long history of droughts and severe water crisis that make Australian utilities to be very very open early adaptors of technologies. I think that is fantastic!
In UK you have other factors, let say with the carrot and stick factor, Australia is more on a carrot side: they give incentives and there is also culture in Australia of water utilities sharing best practices. When a water utility implements a new technology they invite all other water utilities to come for a presentation. It is actually quite an interesting eco system in Australia. In UK the water utilities are not as open to sharing with each other. But you have a very strong governmental regulation that keeps a very close tab on how efficient water utilities are or not. They have to demonstrate that they are measuring non-revenue water and they have to report that to prove their record. Though it is a different mechanism, it forces water utilities to at least address the problem. While in US, most of the utilities have no idea how much of non-revenue water they have, not they have a mechanism in place to measure it. Watch our video with Gina Domanig for further answers.