The global smart water management market (henceforth referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 6.92 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 14.54 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 13.89% during the period 2022-2027 (henceforth referred to as the forecast period).
Key Highlights In recent years, owing to increasing population and urbanization, the global demand for water and the need to address the cost implications of maintaining aging infrastructure are among the major motivating factors for growth in the smart water management market. Smart water management (SWM) uses information and communication technology (ICT) and real-time data and responses, which is an integral part of the solution for water management challenges. The potential application of smart systems in water management is vast and includes solutions for water quality, water quantity, efficient irrigation, leaks, pressure and flow, floods, droughts, and much more. Water scarcity may directly affect nearly 20% of the human population by 2025, UN reports state, and indirectly influence the rest of the planet’s inhabitants. Smart water systems based on the combination of the IoT, big data, and AI technologies may help stop these predictions and undo the damage the imprudent usage of water resources has already caused. The proliferation of IoT and smart cities regionally is also expected to promote growth in the market. The technological advancements of smart meters and their integration with communication solutions (SCADA, GIS, etc.) have transformed water management to address the challenges faced by water utilities, residents, and industries, in terms of inaccurate billing and water management. Investments in water security comprise a heterogeneous range of activities. For example, investing in a wastewater treatment plant is different from financing a floodplain to protect a city from flood risks. Similarly, financing the construction and start-up of a new desalination plant raises different challenges and opportunities than financing the refurbishment of one in operation. At the same time, the range of financiers is also diverse, with different mandates, investment objectives, risk appetites, and liquidity needs. Municipalities globally suffered heavily from the loss of funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these losses are driving the digitalization of the water sector. The new project out of Duke University, the Internet of Water, unites the United States communities into a national network of users, hubs, and producers to share standardized water usage information and new technologies to create a modern water data infrastructure. After considerable success in the United States, the Internet of Water plans on going global in 2021.
Key Market Trends
The Residential Segment is Expected to Hold the Major Share
Residential water usage accounts for a large portion of water consumption globally, as water is considered a luxury that needs to be conserved efficiently. Therefore, technology also plays a vital role in making people liable for the misuse of water.
Consumers are upgrading their residences by adopting smart water management software and hardware. This adoption rate is rapidly increasing as software and hardware become cheaper and more affordable. Digitization, along with the adoption of connected technologies, is impacting all applications of smart water management solutions by revolutionizing the way smart water management systems interact with the surroundings in the residential sector. As customers in the residential applications are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of smart water management solutions in terms of reduced water wastage, the demand for such solutions for home and building automation is expected to increase over the forecast period. For instance, in July 2021, RealPage Inc., a global provider of real estate software and data analytics, launched Smart Water, the first multifamily solution to use submeter technology, to drastically lower the cost of water management for both residential units and common areas. Moreover, Biz Intellia, an end-to-end IoT solution, helps to manage water leaks in residential societies. It can also cover an entire city, and the range of one gateway is up to 6 miles in urban areas and 10 miles in open country areas. Multiple gateways can also be installed in case of broader area coverage requirements. Initiatives for saving water from governments worldwide contribute to the rising demand for smart residential water management solutions. Connected systems are anticipated to emerge as one of the most critical components of smart water management software by contributing mainly to the sustainability goals of the projects.
Asia Pacific is Expected to Register the Fastest Growth
The Asia Pacific is home to more than 2.1 billion urban residents, with over two-thirds estimated to live in cities by 2050. The region comprises countries with substantial non-revenue water (NRW) losses like India (with almost 60% of revenue losses from the total distributed water), Singapore, and others. Such figures signify the need for water management and indicate the potential for market growth in the region. ? The rising number of smart cities in the region is expected to create substantial business opportunities for smart water management solutions providers. India is planning to build over 100 smart cities by 2022, amounting to about half a million dollars, which is expected to impact almost 1 billion people. Also, Singapore had spent over USD 1 billion on smart city initiatives during fiscal 2019. Such smart city initiatives in the region are expected to provide huge scope for adopting advanced metering infrastructure. ? Significant initiatives to develop smart water systems are evident in Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and others, indicating the scope for the growth of the market. Japan, which has relatively lower NRW (US-24%), has invested in water management infrastructure. With the aid of its Japan Water Research Center (JWRC), Japan has planned to achieve a 100% smart water meter rollout by 2025. ? The region is also witnessing demand for IoT platforms, owing to the growing number of connected devices and the adoption of IoT technologies for water management. For instance, Agua Water Systems, an Indian Start-up, enables the monitoring of water usage with the help of smart solutions. The plug and play system utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze water usage, the measure water level in the pump, and control water distribution. Several smart wireless devices, such as motor controllers, ultrasonic sensors, and flow sensors, are used. Furthermore, digitization, along with the adoption of connected technologies in developing nations, is impacting all applications of smart water management solutions by revolutionizing the way smart water management systems interact with the surroundings in the residential sector.
The smart water management market is pretty fragmented, as the market comprises several global players and emerging new players vying for attention in a somewhat contested market space. The market is witnessing intensifying competitive rivalry due to new startups in IoT and AI-based offerings, which are expected to rise through the forecast period. Some significant companies include ABB Limited, IBM Corporation, Schneider Electric, and Honeywell International Inc. Some noticeable recent developments in the market include:
October 2021 - ABB has signed a partnership agreement with a Danish water environment specialist to collaboratively create the next generation of smart water solutions that encourage more attentive water use. These solutions would enable clients in this market to better control water availability and increase plant operating efficiency in both process and energy optimization. June 2021 - Mueller Water Products Inc. declared that it had acquired i2O Water Ltd. for approximately USD 20 million in cash. The acquisition will give i2O access to more significant financial resources and help it introduce its products and solutions in North America, where i20 currently has a minimal presence.
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