In our latest infrastructure market report we explore the hidden worlds of water and waste

Infrastructure for water and waste are going to receive a significant boost over the next five years thanks to billions of pounds of government investment - a useful remedy for the fall in other areas of public spending, and the fairly bleak outlook for much of the private sector over the same time period.

Investment in these sectors is a game of two halves. For water, £22bn has been committed between 2010 and 2015, but on the waste side the exact figures are harder to pin down. However, although no definite amount has been formally assigned, an investment of between £9bn and £11bn will be needed between now and 2020 to meet EU targets for landfill diversion - so the industry can rest assured that funds will be made available.

The industry estimates that total investment will be between £10bn (according to UK Trade & Investment) and £30bn (according to the Institution of Civil Engineers). So, whether you are interested in water or waste, or both, there is plenty of core information to sink your teeth into in our overview of the sectors (pages 4-7).

Something worth keeping in mind for all firms looking to impress clients is that knowledge of, and expertise in, water and waste management are becoming increasingly attractive in supply-chain members. So even if you have no plans to work directly in the water or waste markets, it would be well worth checking out what David Penfold, the head of sustainability and innovation at Sainsbury’s, has to say (page 8).

The retailer, which has a property portfolio worth £1.6bn, aims to be a zero-carbon business by 2020. Penfold points out that if the company is to hit its target, an ability to recycle (and even resell) waste and harvest water is near the top of his priorities when he is looking at potential suppliers - and he doubts that Sainsbury’s is the only major client considering these additional skills when deciding which firms to work with.

Of course, waste and water management is something that every country has to do. And firms that develop expertise in the UK will certainly be able to sell it on to other countries that are also trying to upgrade their infrastructure. On pages 13-16 we identify the countries that combine demand for water projects with a business culture that is friendly to UK firms. And with global spend on water infrastructure forecast to reach £500bn by 2020 - and more than £650bn by 2030 - it’s well worth a look.

Coming up!
One day events in late November in central London, focusing on the new-build opportunities in:

With the latest regulatory updates, projects in the pipeline, detailed case studies, and invaluable networking opportunities, this will be your door opener to a place in building UK’s future energy infrastructure.