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Smart Water Technology

Replacing aging water infrastructure is a key in driving the global market for smart water technologies.

The market for smart water technologies and services is expected to be robust with significant growth expected through 2025, according to a new analysis.

The report, published by Navigant Research, looks at smart water network products and services, as well as issues relative to the market, including challenges that inhibit market growth and projections for installed capacity and revenues. The report forecasts that global revenue from smart water networks will increase from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $7.2 billion in 2025.

Growth in smart water network infrastructure should be relatively slow, but spending should spike in 2023 as new technologies — such as automated meter reading and advanced metering infrastructure — replace older, inefficient metering hardware. The total smart water meter installed base should exceed 1.3 billion meters in 2025. With a growing installed base, smart water technologies will be more widely adopted, including network monitoring and control devices, data management systems, and robust communications infrastructure.

Aging Water Infrastructure

Aging water infrastructure is a problem throughout the world. Supplying clean water to a growing global population requires more effective and efficient technologies, including improved water metering, infrastructure monitoring, and customer billing.

Anne Wrobetz, research analyst with Navigant Research, said:

Non-revenue water, aging infrastructure, and quality concerns are driving water utilities to adopt smarter systems, in the form of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and automated meter reading (AMR). […] This transition is occurring in regions like North America, where metering is widespread but tends to be carried out by often inaccurate, mechanical meters, and in regions where metering and point-of-use distribution networks are relatively recent, such as in some parts of Asia.

Intelligent Water Meters

According to the report, gradually falling prices for smart metering technologies within the next decade should further drive adoption and market growth, particularly after 2023. It’s expected that much of the market revenue will be created from the sale and installation of intelligent water meters. Conventional water consumption meters often are inaccurate and don’t last long. New, communicating static meters, say analysts, can work effectively in the field for anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

Other contributors to the market are anticipated to be communication devices, data management systems, and water network monitoring and control services.

Better Data Needed for Water Management

Better water management is spurring adoption of these smart technologies. Experts say water-related data is sorely needed to create a better response to global water scarcity. More data could also engender innovation in water management.

Water utilities lack information needed for key tasks such as repairing aging water infrastructure and assessing non-revenue water. And, in areas around the world where water infrastructure is aging, a complete overhaul of drinking water distribution systems is needed.

The report — “Smart Water Networks: Water Meters, Communications Infrastructure, and Data Analytics for Water Distribution Networks: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts” — provides a comprehensive analysis of the global smart water network products and services market. Navigant Research offers a summary of the report.

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