Water regulatory bodies and water utilities across the globe need to proactively adopt smart technology to conserve water and better manage their processes and distribution channels. That is according to Transparency Market Research, who says that smart water management (SWM) facilitates reduction in repair and maintenance costs, and reduction of non-revenue water. SMW also helps to minimize energy usage in pumping of water at water utilities, cost of detection of leaks and theft, and enhances customer engagement in water conservation.
Globally, the smart water management market was worth $4.8 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $15.2 million by 2019 — a CAGR of almost 18 percent from 2013 to 2019, according research by Transparency Market Research.
The SWM market is driven by various factors — such as aging water infrastructure, lack of water management in urban areas, need for mapping water resources and need to reduce non-revenue water. Further, water regulatory bodies in North America and Europe are mandating stricter environmental standards related to smart water management.
North America was the largest revenue generator in 2012 and accounted for 47.5 percent share of the global SWM market, according to Transparency Market Research. This dominance is the result of increased in investment in SMW technologies minimize water loss and reduce the amount of (non-revenue water) by water utilities in North America. Further growth is expected to be driven by increasing investment by water utilities in smart water technologies and growing focus on smart irrigation and minimizing nonrevenue water. In addition, strict environmental standards mandated by water regulatory bodies is expected to drive the market globally in the near future, the research firm predicts.
However, apprehension on the part of water utilities to adopt cloud services, as well as the high cost of installation of advanced metering infrastructure is a deterrent to market growth.
Asia-Pacific is expected to show the fastest growth due to rainfall variability, scarcity of potable water resources and huge water losses in agriculture due to overwatering.
In urban areas, water is the most neglected natural resource. Smart water solutions and services are still struggling for rapid adoption in a major part of the globe owing to lack of regulatory support from the governments in some regions such as Africa, and Western Asia among others, Transparency Market Research says. Aging water infrastructure — especially in developed economies such as the U.S, Canada, and Germany, among others — is a major driver for adoption of smart water solutions.