Newspaper headlines and television documentaries warn us that humanity rapidly approaches a global water crisis with the potential to leave millions dead from thirst, starvation and wars to acquire freshwater resources. Archeologists confirm their pessimists pointing to the numerous communities that vanished when their seemingly infinite water resources disappeared. Fortunately, there is more to the story. Cities lost to water shortages are far more the exception than the rule. London, Paris, Rome, New York, indeed all of the world's major cities had at some point in their histories faced crises caused by an insufficient water supply or sanitation system. Those world capitals and thousands of smaller cities survived by applying technology to compensate for nature's inadequacies and human neglect.
In the developed world, the integration of water and wastewater treatment (WWT) technologies into the fabric of urban infrastructures is barely noticed, at least until a pipe breaks, flooding a street. It is on those rare occasions that the discovery of a section of pipe made of a hollowed tree reminds us that the overall structure of the water and sanitation industry remain unchanged and would likely be familiar to the operators of Rome's famed aqueducts. Similarly, the basic parts lists for modern systems continue to consist of a small number of commodities. In this study BCC Research forecasts the demand for those 15 core WWT products in the 40 robust national markets.
In this study, BCC Research examines and provides a 2014 through 2019 forecast for 15 products essential for constructing, maintaining and operating WWT systems in the 40 most important national markets.
For more than a decade, there has been increasing fear that water shortages will create mass dislocations, and perhaps ignite global conflicts - water wars if you will. While those fears have merit, they overlook an essential historic truth. All of the problems associated with a lack of clean water or adequate sanitation readily yield to relatively simple, and in most cases inexpensive, solutions. Illuminated with the light of pragmatism, the feared water crisis is less daunting than it appears, and for those involved in supplying the WWT industry, there are enormous opportunities as the business climbs toward reaching $96 billion before the end of the decade.
The modern WWT business rests on three stable and somewhat predictable profit centers:
Since the Roman era, the construction of those water and sanitation systems has been viewed as a public benefit that is properly financed and maintained by a mechanism for guaranteeing payments for their expansion and continued operation. The inherent stability of those revenue sources based on taxes and tax-like payments has allowed WWT authorities unparalleled access to construction capital and operating funds. Despite the stability of that financial foundation, the WWT business has not been immune to change. Since BCC Research last visited the topic in 2011, national governments throughout the world have been forced to undertake unheard-of belt-tightening measures in order to have continued access to international credit markets, the so-called sovereign debt crisis. In this study, BCC Research accounts for those changes and updates its 2014 to 2019 forecast to take them into account.
This study, and its accompanying more than 260 tables, focuses on the demand for the 15 basic products sold in the 40 largest and most commercially accessible national WWT markets. The core water and sanitation business revolves around 15 products divided among four product groups:
The process equipment product group comprises:
The delivery equipment product group comprises:
The instrumentation product group comprises monitoring devices that have been optimized for use with:
And the WWT chemicals product group comprises:
The WWT industry obviously uses far more than the 15 products listed above. A pumping station, for example, requires a structure to house the pump and concrete for the pad that supports the structure, as well as electrical connections. The focus of this work is exclusively on products optimized for WWT systems. It excludes design, engineering and construction services not directly related to product installation. This study excludes those items, along with plumbing fixtures, point-of-use appliances and locally provided consumables such as fuels, chlorine and other disinfectants and fluoridation supplies.
The 40 national markets examined in this study are: