Recently returned from the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) 2014, EDC’s Lynn Cote, shares the buzz of the water & wastewater industry.
I just returned from WEFTEC 2014 New Orleans, the largest water and wastewater tradeshow in North America. The show attracts over 25,000 people in the water & wastewater industry with the goal of addressing future challenges and opportunities for the sector. Canadian companies had a strong presence at the conference this year, with 71 companies exhibiting their products and over 123 in attendance.
A recurring theme of panel discussions and seminars was the growing need for investment into water and wastewater infrastructure, and the growing scarcity of water. In June it was reported that 7 states in the US were running out of water. Water infrastructure in the US is also dated and in need of repair, but there continues to be a challenge finding funding for these investments. Beyond the US there are also many opportunities for Canada to address challenges in other countries. Water scarcity is a growing global concern especially in developing nations where they have limited access to clean water in rural areas.
So what does this mean for Canadian companies? Canada has some innovative capabilities in water technology, and there were some great examples in attendance this at the conference this year. Pure Technologies, a company who developed pipe inspection technology which allows utility companies to see weaknesses in the system before they break; Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies was in attendance displaying a technology that not only treats wastewater but produces a high quality fertilizer as a by-product, and Anaergia who has developed a process that creates energy from wastewater.
One of the most important parts of this event is the opportunity for companies to be matched with potential partners to acquire new technologies. This year 27 Canadian companies participated in matchmaking meetings to help grow their business. EDC can help facilitate meetings like this and provide advice to any companies new to the sector and looking to expand their business, or even just seeing what’s out there.
Attendance at shows like WEFTEC allows companies to share their capabilities, learn more about industry trends, and network with potential partners. Find out more about upcoming events for your industry here.