Water infrastructure and repair technologies (WIRT) are primarily used in applications such as resource management, water delivery, flood protection, and others. These largely include assessment, replacement, repair, and rehabilitation solutions that ensure the effective functioning of water infrastructure systems. As per Inkwood Research, the global water infrastructure and repair technology market is projected to grow with a CAGR of 6.56% during the forecasted years of 2023 to 2032. Moreover, the market is expected to garner a revenue share of $185.823 billion by 2032.
According to a report by UNU’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, titled, ‘Ageing Water Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk,’ the majority of the 58,700 large dams across the world were constructed between 1930 to 1970. With a designated life of 50 to 100 years, a large concrete dam will likely begin expressing signs of aging at 50 years.
Since the water infrastructure globally is aging and continually requires renovation and repairs, electricity, gas, and water companies are focused on solution-oriented technologies. This is due to the significant expenses associated with the restoration and replacement of water networks – as per Inkwood Research, replacement is set to be the dominating category by 2032.
As utilities seek cost-effective ways to maintain their pipe networks, an article by Water World suggests that the most lucrative solutions will emerge from technologies that can monitor the entire water infrastructure while enabling targeted rehabilitation.
Water Infrastructure and Repair Technology | Key Market Trends
One of the leading objectives of incorporating water treatment is to minimize utility costs while making water available for the captive production of electricity. In addition, water treatment equipment and plants are being installed across major oil & gas refining economies, mainly in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Furthermore, strong demand from refineries has also been one of the major factors augmenting the water treatment industry over recent years, and this trend is anticipated to continue over the forecast period. On that note, let’s explore some of the prominent trends in the global water infrastructure and repair technology market:
Depleting Water Ecosystems –
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), freshwater withdrawals in 49 out of 185 countries that provide withdrawal data exceed the global sustainability threshold. Moreover, in a report published by NASA, the world is depleting its groundwater at a faster rate than was previously documented. In the article, NASA’s leading hydrologist James Famiglietti stated that the majority of the aquifers in dryer regions are experiencing rapid rates of groundwater depletion, with the largest aquifers being abstracted at a much greater rate than can be naturally replenished.
Furthermore, in Europe, 60% of cities with more than 100,000 people utilize groundwater sources faster than they can be replenished. The Murray Darling Basin River that provides water for many communities in South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria also requires protection; however, developing a sustainable plan for the water has been challenging. Hence, with the reduction in available freshwater, the need to save natural resources and promote WIRT schemes is highly essential.
Global Population Shift & Government Initiatives –
Several social scientists regarded the urbanization of the global population as one of the most integral contemporary demographic trends since it presents a pivotal shift in how humans utilize the environment. Moreover, in 2007, the urban population outnumbered the rural, for the first time, with nearly two-thirds of the world population expected to be living in urban regions by 2050.
However, rapid urbanization is also followed by arduous challenges. For example, several urban areas, especially in lower-income nations, face challenges like decreased access to fresh water supplies, a rise in sewage as well as sanitation issues, and a subsequent plummet in public health.
As a result, governments are investing in the avenue of infrastructural improvements in order to meet the rising demand for water and help alleviate these challenges. Aligning with this:
- In April 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $6.5 billion in funding for water infrastructure projects, including prioritizing areas of aging infrastructure as well as addressing emerging contaminants.
- The Federal Water Policy, the first of its kind in Canada, was formulated following several years of intensive consultation, both within as well as outside the government. The policy addresses the management of water resources, balancing water usage with the various demands of the ecosystem.
- The National Water Policy, formulated by the Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India, governs the planning and development of water resources within the country, in addition to their optimum utilization.
- In 2022, a new investment was announced to help increase access to sewage collection services and improve water quality in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. While boosting the water sector’s competitiveness, the investment would also help promote inclusive growth in Brazil.
- The Thirteenth Five Year Plan (2016) in China established specific goals for water consumption as well as water quality. The Plan also aims to reduce water consumption, upgrade urban sewage facilities, and increase rates of wastewater treatment. Moreover, the wastewater segment, under the end-user category, is anticipated to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period (Source: Inkwood Research).
Hence, government initiatives aimed at improving water infrastructure and the development of water resources are expected to play an important role in the establishment of utilities for water management. This factor, in turn, is set to upscale the requirements for water infrastructure and repair technologies in the near future.
Metering for Sustainability: How Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Revolutionized the WIRT Space
Automated meter reading (AMR) technology automatically gathers diagnostic and consumption status and data from water meters without the need for manual reading. Additionally, it helps increase the accuracy of the collected information, as well. Furthermore, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems entail an integrated system of smart meters, communications networks, as well as data management systems that facilitate two-way communication between customers and utilities.
An AMI system also provides utilities with real-time data about power consumption, thus granting them higher operational control over their systems. For example, in 2022, Trilliant, a leading international provider of solutions for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), smart cities, smart grid, and industrial internet of things (IIOT), announced the successful implementation of a wireless water metering solution in Canada. Through this, the company confirmed its position in supporting challenging metering projects, predominantly where strong, reliable connectivity is required.
Likewise, in February 2023, Kerala’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister announced its plans to install an automatic meter reading system in the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) in a phased method. The plan was rolled out in response to the KWA’s loss of revenue due to water leakage and pipe breaks within the state’s water infrastructure. As a result, such innovations and technological developments are expected to contribute to the global water infrastructure and repair technology market growth during the forecasted period.
Which are the key companies operating in the global water infrastructure and repair technology market?
Some of the key companies operating in the global water infrastructure and repair technology market are Veolia Group, DuPont, Suez Environment Company, etc.
What are some of the challenges faced by urban water infrastructure?
Some of the main challenges associated with urban water infrastructure include saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, declining groundwater table, and surface water pollution due to wastewater discharge and urban stormwater runoff.