The unit shipments of the Global Smart Water Meters were at 16.578 million units in 2020, with the market expected to register a CAGR of 9.7% during the forecast period 2021-2026. With increasing pressure on water utilities due to growing demand, increasing water stress, rising energy prices, and aging water systems, smart water network solutions have emerged with significant benefits by combining advanced metering technology, software, and effective communications systems. Integrating the said components enables end-users to account for every drop and turn water into revenue through enhanced leak detection and unparalleled data acquisition.
- The critical need for optimized water consumption in water-scarce areas is driving the deployment of smart water meters. For instance, according to a World Water Development Report report, 480 million people in Asia alone are expected to face water scarcity in the future.
- Moreover, about 500 million people live in areas where water consumption exceeds locally renewable water resources by a factor of two. Owing to these concerns, there is an increasing necessity to monitor water usage, which is anticipated to increase smart water meters' adoption subsequently.
- The lack of availability of capital funding remains a major challenge that hindering the adoption of smart water meters. The operating costs associated with smart water metering are also high. Thus, many water utilities are not flush with cash and spend much of their budgets on making network repairs to maintain the status quo.
Key Market Trends
Japan Market is Expected to Grow High
- Factors, such as rapid economic development, industrial effluents, and pollutant increase, are causing numerous environmental concerns in Japan. For instance, the water quality at the source has deteriorated to the extent that tap water took on a foul odor. Since then, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has implemented various advanced water treatment and management technologies.
- Around 97% of properties have already been installed with traditional meters on which the reading is taken every two months. The increasing focus on smart and efficient water supply has propelled the Japanese government to look for a smart water meter solution that enables it to achieve this objective.
- Moreover, due to the declining population in the region, there is a decrease in water demand. With the widespread use of water-saving appliances, the trend is further set to accelerate, which may result in a decline in revenue from water fees. This may eventually strain the resources of many water utility companies.
The North American market is Anticipated to Hold a Major Market Share
- Water scarcity in the West, along with aging infrastructures in the regions of the Mid-West and East, has helped promote the requirement to tackle efficient remote meter readings that can help benefit revenue generation and improve consumer service.
- Furthermore, reduced leakage and efficient water use are also major drivers for the smart water meters market. As North America is a more developed market, the utility base is in harmony with smart meter technology and is starting to implement advanced data solutions.
- Various cities are also promoting the use of smart water meters. The City of Santa Fe, for instance, chose Badger Meter's BEACON smart water meter solution for full installation across all their water meter endpoints, including both residential and commercial customers. The foundation for the outline is a cellular-enabled smart meter, which can be installed and immediately used for the utility's smart water network applications.
The smart water meter market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, a few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets. For instance, In February 2021 Karlshamn Energi has chosen Kamstrup for warmth and water-smart metering. Future smart water meters will be installed in Karlshamn to effectively automate readings and find suspicious leaks within the distribution network employing a new feature found within the flowIQ2200 meter. The whole Kamstrup value chain with meters, infrastructure, READy remote reading system, and the analytics tool Leak Detector makes it possible to prioritize work to induce the foremost efficient distribution network possible and reduce water loss.
In November 2020, Badger Meter, Inc. has reported acquiring s::can GmbH ("s::can") and its subsidiaries, a privately held water quality monitoring system provider, for EUR 27 million in cash.
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