The criticality of water availability and the infrastructure to support demand is well known. Countries have varying levels of water resources. This industry has been a constant source of government investment, while distinctly different positions exist between advanced and emerging economies in terms of water infrastructure. Developed economies generally built their water and wastewater infrastructure long ago. However, emerging countries are currently investing in water and wastewater infrastructure.
Key drivers for growth in the water industry in advanced economies are the investments required to upgrade aging infrastructure. In emerging economies, the focus is on establishing water and wastewater infrastructure. Several of the more prominent industry trends are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Emerging trends in the water and wastewater industries
North America’s Aging Water Infrastructure
Estimates of U.S. investments necessary to address the aging water infrastructure during the next several decades top $100 billion. Portions of the existing water infrastructure were laid down more than 100 years ago.