Business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan has released an analysis, Global Outlook of the Water Industry, that finds Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart meters and digital solutions are driving the global water market as rising water stress is creating a demand for advanced technologies.

The need for sustainable solutions is boosting investments in the development of energy-efficient and energy-neutral treatment systems. One such cutting-edge communication technology adopted by the municipal segment is low-power wide-area network (LPWAN), which is ideal for supporting IoT-fitted equipment for process control and management.

“Both municipal and industrial end users have shown a marked preference for membrane-based treatment systems owing to their improved efficiency and easy availability,” said Paul Hudson, research analyst, energy and environment for Frost & Sullivan. “When integrated with AI, these systems will enable the complete automation of operations and maintenance of treatment systems, as well as significantly lower end-users’ OPEX.”

In the industrial segment, Frost & Sullivan found increasing demand for decentralized/mobile treatment systems. Participants in this segment are exploring technologies, such as smart sensors with self-calibration/cleaning ability and AI for the operation of treatment systems.

“Water and energy conservation efforts across industries will drive spending in both municipal and industrial segments,” said Hudson.

Highlights and growth opportunities discussed in the analysis include:

  • The municipal segment is set to grow at a rate of 6.4 per cent, while the industrial segment should grow at 7.6 per cent in 2018;
  • Revenues for the global water market are estimated to reach U.S. $695.9 billion in 2018;
  • Offering new business models such as pay-for-performance and hybrid annuity public-private partnership, which incentivize efficiency; and
  • Establishing novel service models such as Water-as-a-Service for decentralized treatment systems.

“Asia-Pacific is emerging as the fastest growing geographic market for water and wastewater treatment solutions due to its growing economy, urbanization, and rapid industrialization,” said Hudson. “The North American market, especially the industrial segment, will be driven by the spending from oil and gas exploration industries, while the Middle East is investing heavily in energy-efficient desalination treatment systems for municipal and industrial use.”


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