With the foundation of the Regional Section North America and its merger with the Regional Section Mexico, German Water Partnership (GWP) expands its international activities to North America and concretely pushes ahead with initiations of business in the region.
The USA and Canada are increasingly becoming one of the centers of interest of GWP s international activities. The creation of a Regional Section North America (Canada and the USA) aims at finding the challenges in water management in the region by concentrating and intensifying the present activities of the members in order to extend the local network in industry and research. Among other things it is planned to determine the potential and the possible channels of distribution within the markets and to frame concepts for service and marketing for the target regions. By the merger with the Regional Section Mexico the competences and experience are concentrated even further.
"The creation of the Regional Section North America reinforces GWP s position on the American continent and reflects the importance of this big water market. The integration of the Regional Section Mexico leads to synergies and new stimuli for those GWP members who are already working within the NAFTA region or are planning to do so." Armin Mueller, deputy head of the regional section in charge of Mexico, emphasizes.
Dirk Ruppert of KSB AG was elected head of the regional section, his deputies are Stefan Peikert of AHP International in charge of the US and Armin Mueller of Festo in charge of Mexico.
Since 2012 GWP has been establishing contacts and engaging in various activities: in fall 2012 the German American Chamber of Commerce in the Mid-West called the German American Water Technology Initiative into being. This initiative provides a platform for the exchange of know-how, technology and business in the field of water between the US and Germany. By invitation of the GACC German Water Partnership was involved in the German American Water Technology Exchange Days 2012.
At the joint booth at Wasser Berlin International 2013 German Water Partnership was happy to welcome a delegation of purchasers from the US. Beside an information meeting about innovative water technologies and infrastructure and face-to-face conversations with GWP members, the visitors had the opportunity to have a tour of construction sites in the Berlin area. The journey had been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and organized by GWP as a partner. At the GWP annual conference in June this year one discussion dealt with opportunities for the development of markets and business: high-ranking visitors from Canada and the US took part in the round-table discussion "North America".
Further GWP experts spoke a round-table discussion about industrial water management in the food and drink industry in October 2013 in Milwaukee which was organized by the German Chamber of Foreign Commerce USA-Chicago and partnered by GWP.
On the Canadian market, GWP cooperates with WaterTAP, a company based in the Ontario region promoting collaboration in and acceleration of project of water management. One essential aspect is the integration of innovative solutions from abroad.
There are more individual meetings in planning to deepen and perpetuate the contacts: within the framework of delegations journeys to Canada and the US the collaboration with relevant local institutions is supposed to be strengthened.
The US market offers enormous potential: according to a study conducted by the University of Milwaukee, the United States have a market share of 20 percent and thus currently are the biggest market for innovative water technology and products. Additionally the reinforcement of the existing law for the protection of water (e. g. the Clean Water Act) and the increasing awareness of decision makers of the scarcity and the value of the water resources, pushes the demand for efficient technological and infrastructural solutions.
While Canada possesses sufficient water resources large parts of the country face deficits in drinking water purification and waste water. The main point here is to expand the infrastructure. The market also offers good opportunities to implement innovative technologies and concepts in the fields of storm water management, water recycling and measures to increase the energy efficiency.
Mexico is not an arid country but is struggling with considerable bottlenecks of water availability, unequal distribution and excessive exploitation of underground water deposits, which leads to dramatic sinking of the ground water levels. A further problem is the poor infrastructure: the rate of water losses during transport is up to 40 percent. Water pollution is another big problem – the rate of water treated is much too low.
German companies offering adapted, energy-efficient and innovative technology can benefit from these shortcomings. For the next years, the national water administration Conagua is planning huge investments in water management, like sewage treatment plants, pipelines, dams and desalination plants, to improve the supply with drinking water and particularly the disposal of sewage.
GWP regional sections
So far GWP has established fifteen regional sections. Experts from the water sector joined forces in these committees to offer a broad range of services. They work out adapted solutions to problems water management, kick off joint projects and establish long-term contacts.
Picture: GWP regional sections (as of 11/2013), Source: GWP
Source: German Water Partnership