Water infrastructure gap to be addressed

Smart, state-of-the-art water solutions are quickly gaining ground and coming to the fore, especially in municipal water utilities, where analytics and data are the crucial means in which to the perennial issue of decaying water infrastructure can be overcome. From 2016 to 2025, Bluefield Research has confirmed that a total of over USD$20 billion has been assigned to meter, analyze and manage the data of water globally.

The catalyst for this change is due to the rising water prices that are compelling the municipalities and water utilities to do more with less. Water stress is the main driving force behind the surge in demand for innovative, inventive solutions to better sustainably and cost-effectively manage consumers and charges, as well as consumption of energy, among other reasons.

The answers are not new; they are taken from extant technologies, software, equipment, and analytics tools. But what is new is the single-minded focus on the key drivers of operating costs, where operations in water utilities are enhanced with smart technologies. Results have been telling in certain cases: up to 30 per cent of operating expenditures can be reduced almost instantaneously through a more real-time, effective system. Cutting non-revenue water errors and lowering energy consumption by half can save 20 per cent, and even up to 40 per cent.

By 2025, the smart water sector is anticipated to climb to USD$11 billion in Europe and USD$12 billion in the United States (US). Other promising countries with speedy growth of smart water interest and enterprise are Israel and Asia Pacific (APAC) countries Singapore and Australia. Already in these countries, rising water stress issues have led to a warmer reception of progressive technology acceptance among entrenched utility network operators. To date, the US heads the pack in metering, but it is the Europeans who have the edge in smart water operational solutions.

Presently, Bluefield Research has noted an upward trend in mergers and acquisitions in varied companies like Xylem and Honeywell as they vie to manoeuvre deeper into and establish themselves in the water industry.

Source: Bluefield Research