The report notes that low water measurement levels represent a real business opportunity for water metering suppliers. For comparison, the global connectivity rate of electricity meters is estimated at 75% and almost all of the buildings worldwide with a gas line are metered.
HIS Analyst Nicole Tuggle said that water-metering revenues are growing, primarily in developing economies, where governments are increasing the availability of piped potable water and encourage metering initiatives.
“Water is unique in that there is a widespread belief that water is a basic need that everyone has a right to consume. Therefore, the charge for water service can tend to not equal the actual cost of providing water,” Tuggle wrote. “In developed and developing regions alike, bills are estimated for households without a meter connection based on a flat rate pricing structure”.
“Utilities all over the world realize that accurate billing is essential to guarantee the ongoing supply of drinking water and to encourage people to save water,” said Rami Ziv, Arad Group‘s VP International Sales & Marketing. “We have witnessed a sharp increase in demand for water management solutions and foresee further growth in the world water metering market.”
So for example, IHS forecasts that Latin America and Asia will invest over $3.5 billion in basic water meters from 2012 to 2016. It added, however, that developing countries will limit investment in smart metering solutions and will continue to focus their efforts on purchasing plain water meters.
The report shows that while the water meter market revenue was estimated at $1.4 billion in 2012, in Latin America, less than 5% of this revenue was from smart water meters. In unit shipment terms, communicating water meters accounted for only 1% in 2012. While strong growth for communicating technology is predicted in 2016, smart meters will still account for less than 2% of Latin America’s and Asia’s total water meter shipments, compared to 8% worldwide.