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Water & Waste

We help private and public sector clients manage water and waste to capture economic and social benefits, reduce cost, and minimize risk.

Growth in the world's population, cities, and GDP is putting acute pressure on water supply and waste disposal. By 2030 the global gap between water supply and demand could reach 40 percent. Today almost three-quarters of the world's waste ends up in landfill, imposing enormous environmental costs and squandering opportunities to extract value through recycling and reuse.

  • Develop water management programs. We help local and national governments assemble a fact base for decision making, craft strategies for stakeholder management, identify least-cost solutions through tailored cost curves, assess barriers and payback times, and produce practical implementation plans. For one country facing acute scarcity, we identified demand management solutions that would cover four-fifths of its supply gap at no cost, and helped rethink its agricultural strategy to build a water-efficient economy.
  • Transform water and waste utilities. We help utilities transform their operations along the entire value chain of water, waste, and wastewater by optimizing elements such as network and pump station maintenance, pump energy efficiency, sludge treatment, waste asset configuration, aeration control, and support functions. With our assistance, a water utility recently identified savings worth 25 percent of operating costs at one of its treatment plants.
  • Optimize industrial operations. We work with industrial companies to manage the costs and risks of water consumption and find solutions to water challenges beyond their own four walls. We have helped companies identify double-digit potential savings in indirect water costs and supported industrial operators attempting to secure reliable and sustainable water supplies. For companies striving to eliminate waste from their operations, we advise on identifying pain points, saving resources in the supply chain, and adapting product design to reduce materials requirements in manufacture.
  • Identify profitable investment strategies. Although the $500 billion water market is growing fast and presents many opportunities for investment, profitable and addressable niches are hard to find. We help conduct technology and target scans for investors and entrants from adjacent businesses, and offer guidance on developing entry strategies, capturing opportunities, and building scale. For one client we recently designed a roadmap to implement a strategy that put it on a double-digit growth path. We offer similar services to investors interested in extracting value from waste.
  • Capture the potential of waste services provision. We provide insights into the performance and costs of existing and emerging waste technologies and help public sector organizations develop and refine integrated waste management strategies. We also help national and local governments assess how recycled materials might contribute to resource management strategies and economic development targets.
  • Revolutionize products and systems. Most production and consumption systems in industrialized economies rely on the one-time use of resources. Only 20 out of 60 metals, for example, have an end-of-life recycling rate of 25 percent or more. We help companies devise product strategies and business models that capitalize on the enormous advantages offered by "closed loop" production and consumption systems, such as secure long-term access to resources.
  • Develop a sustainable ocean strategy. We provide insights into how to develop a sustainable ocean strategy. The health of the global ocean is under severe threat. Eighty percent of fish stock is over-exploited, up from 60 percent 30 years ago. Ocean acidification is quickly increasing, which will lead to increased degradation of coral reef communities, home to 25 percent of all marine species. These developments have huge implications on society and the economy. They threaten food security and local communities around the world. Fish is the primary source of protein for 500 million people, and 70 million jobs are directly dependent on a healthy ocean, predominantly in developing countries. We aim to help develop and implement solutions for public, private and social sector stakeholders to support the recovery of our global ocean resources.

Featured experts

Anton Derkach

Senior Partner, Houston

Impact story

Lean optimization saves 25 percent of operating costs at a wastewater plant

Involving employees in finding ways to improve energy usage and labor efficiency unlocks savings of $178 million a year.