A report on water market shifts from Bluefield Research outlines 7 signposts to watch for in water markets for 2017.

The shifts are focused on municipal and industrial water markets and are broken down into key themes:

  1. Infrastructure Investmet at the Forefront
  2. Rate Escalation Sets Stage for Business Model Innovation
  3. Developed Markets Forced to Confront Aging Networks
  4. Water Gets Smart: Emphasis on Big Data and IoT
  5. Bottom Line Enables Innovation for Industrials
  6. California Sets the Stage for Water Reuse
  7. Private Sector Looks to Water for Opportunity

While primarily focused on the U.S. market, the report still offers insights for the Canadian market. Much like Canada, the U.S. is expected to continue to raise user fees for municipal water supply. The report suggests that this creates an environment that can attract alternative business models, specifically allowing the adoption of a service provider model for conventional infrastructure providers. As well, as the service demand side grows, customers will demand more insights through data, broadening the shift in the water service model.

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Furthermore, the risk valuation of aging water infrastructure provides a competitive market and drives innovation in the installation and monitoring of assets. While these models offer ways for private companies to enter the water utility market from the outside, the growth in capital investment and operations and maintenance costs creates opportunities for private firms to acquire or partner with traditional providers of municipal services. The U.S. typically lags behind Canada in P3 services and has looked to Canadian markets for best practices. The Bluefield report asserts that 2017 will be the year that American markets begin to shift towards the shared cost model.

Big data and the Internet of Things are also areas that are expected to expand in the U.S. market in 2017.  Water Canada has been tracking development in the water sectors adoption of big data and the IoT. Read our coverage through the link. The full report from Bluefield Research can be viewed here.

AFN

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