It’s that time of year again – time to look at some of the major challenges facing water utilities around the globe, and what kind of growth we can expect for the smart water management sector that is bringing innovative devices and solutions to address those challenges.
The pain points being addressed by smart water solutions
In North America, Europe and other parts of the globe with highly developed but aging water infrastructures, the biggest pain point is physical water loss from leaks and bursts. In addition to the economic cost of non-revenue water, these problems also impact customer satisfaction and quality of life. Water utilities in less developed countries also suffer from very high non-revenue water costs, but more for “non-physical” reasons, such as inaccurate billing and water theft.
In general, water utilities around the globe are grappling with:
- Regulatory demands for higher and higher levels of water and energy sustainability, including lowering the carbon footprint of water purification and distribution.
- Rising operating costs, due to aging or inadequate water infrastructures, increasing energy costs, and tight financing.
- Growing demand vs. limited supply: The global water demand (for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes) is expected to grow by 35% over the next decade – primarily in developing countries. The supply, however, is not expected to grow at the same rate.
- Increasing climate fluctuation – both drought and flooding – continues to have a dramatic impact on the ability of water utilities to provide a reliable supply safe drinking water.
How smart water solutions are helping
Water systems are complex. They include end-point devices such as water meters and sensors, the delivery network such as pumps and pipes, and the billing system through which customers pay for the water they are consuming.
The different components of water systems are getting smarter all the time. Today, for example, water meters and sensors are often always-connected devices that accurately measure water flow or sense water leakage and convey that information pretty much in real time to sophisticated data centers. The big data being collected is used to make operations more efficient and billing more accurate. Problems are identified quickly so that they can be taken care of in a timely manner and, in some cases, problems can even be predicted – and prevented − before they occur.
Forecasted growth of the smart water market
The smart water market is expected to experience dramatic growth as vendors, service providers, software providers and consulting companies bring technologies and systems to address painful, unmet needs in the water utilities sector. Over the last few months we have seen a number of new smart water market research reports and here are some of the highlights:
- According to both RNR Market Research and Markets and Markets, the smart water management market is forecast to grow from $8.46 billion in 2016 to $20.1 billion in 2021, at a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.9%.
- More specifically, Markets and Markets predicts that the smart water metering market will grow from $3.88 billion in 2016 to $5.51 billion in 2021, at a healthy CAGR of 7.23%. This growth will be driven by the growing adoption of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems outside of North America and Europe.
- Geographically, North America will continue to dominate the smart water management market due to infrastructure needs and high technology spending by water utilities. However the market is expected to grow considerably in the APAC region due to expanding economies.
- Technavio predicts that the adoption of smart water management solutions will save $12 billion annually for water utilities.
We here at the Arad Group are proud of our leading role in the smart water management market and look forward to providing our customers around the globe with cutting-edge smart devices and solutions. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a joyful holiday season and a wonderful, prosperous 2017.
 Technavio Says the Use of Smart Water Management Technologies Can Help Save More than USD 12 Billion Revenues for Utilities Annually, August 10, 2016
 Detailed examination of the smart water management (SWM) market, August 12, 2016, RNR Market Research
 Smart Water Management Market Worth 20.10 Billion USD by 2021, Markets and Markets, August 11, 2016
 Smart Water Metering Market worth USD 5.51 Billion by 2021, Markets and Markets