Smart water: regulations are driving global demand, says research

smart water management
One restriction to smart water management networks is apprehension about cloud-based data collection and storage

The global market for smart water management is forecast to grow by 20% over the next five years driven by government regulations to maintain water quality.

New research suggests the value of the market will increase from US$7,340 million in 2015 to US$18,310 million by 2020, according to US-based market intelligence company Markets and Markets.

North America is expected to have the largest market size while the Asia Pacific region will see the highest growth rate during the forecast period where the market is less restricted by legacy infrastructure.

IT/OT integration

The report suggests that the need for water utilities to maintain the quality standards is seeing a move towards integrating operational technologies with ICT. 

The regulatory environment is also prompting water utilities to roll out advanced water meters and use sensors for monitoring the distribution network with the aim of reducing non-revenue water loss due to leaks, thefts, pipe bursts, and metering errors.

Electricity for smart water management

Markets and Markets has also identified that with the increasing demand of smart water management solutions, key vendors are also investing a major portion of their revenue in the research and development of new and innovative products related to the market.

And as the energy consumed during water distribution is relatively high and costly, water companies are integrating different solutions to optimize the consumption of energy in water distribution.

Cloud-based data collection

However, water utilities are apprehensive in shifting towards cloud-based deployment which has the potential for minimizing expenses, states the research.

This apprehension is acting as a restraint to the implementation of smart water management system as the cost of on-site infrastructure is huge.

Some of the key players in this market include IBM, General Electric, ABB, Itron, Elster Group, Schneider Electric, Sensus, and Takadu.