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Global Water Distribution & Treatment Industry Report


Close to 9 million people worldwide are suffering from problems linked to the lack of safe drinking water. Global demand for clean water continues to rise along with the world’s population, and as water sources decline, industrialization and water pollution continue to pose a significant risk, pushing demand for water treatment up, reports Global Industry Analysts.


As a solution, various water recycling and treatment processes such as desalination and wastewater treatments are being used to improve the quality of drinking water, reports TechSci Research. Demand for water treatment chemicals is also increasing in India, China, Brazil and Russia, with the world water treatment chemical industry producing more than over 1,500 million lbs in 2011.


Globally, governments continue to tighten legislative parameters concerning environmental norms forcing industries and municipal corporations to adopt effective water treatment solutions.



Infrastructure & Treatment Chemicals


  • The world water utilities market was worth more than $655 billion in 2010, after 5% year-on-year growth, according to MarketLine. The global water utilities market is expected to grow to almost $825 billion in 2015, representing 26% expansion in five years. In terms of volume, the water utilities sector grew 1% in 2010 to exceed 2,860 billion cubic meters. Industry volumes are expected to exceed 3 trillion cubic meters in 2015. The Americas represent 40% of the overall global water utilities industry in terms of value. The water utilities sector involves collection, treatment and distribution of water to residential, industrial and agricultural consumers.


  • Global water infrastructure equipment demand is expected to grow by 6% annually to surpass the $100 billion mark in 2016, according to research from Freedonia. In emerging countries, the coming years will bring wider access to water supply and sanitation while in developed countries, there will be increasing demand for the upkeep and repair of the existing water infrastructure.


  • The world drinking and wastewater treatment chemicals market is expected to reach almost $27 billion by 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts. Market growth will be fuelled by rising world population, regulations surrounding industrial wastewater, lack of water due to resource mismanagement and growing water infrastructure in emerging markets. The adoption of policies to encourage environmental awareness will influence industrial and consumer behaviors. Specialty chemicals will be in greater demand due to the introduction of regulations concerning sludge and wastewater treatment. These chemicals are high performing and reduce toxicity levels, thereby limiting negative impact on the environment.


  • In the industrial domain, reuse of water and demand for ultrapure water will fuel specialty industrial water treatment chemical demand. The biocides and disinfecting chemicals market segment is expected to record the strongest growth at a yearly rate of almost 5% between 2009 and 2017. Leading companies currently operating in this market include Solvay, BASF, Kurita Water Industries, Qemi International, Calgon Carbon, Buckman Laboratories International, E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Ashland, Organo, BWA Water Additives, Norit, The Dow Chemical Company and Nalco.



Regional Market Share


  • Close to 300 million rural inhabitants go without access to safe drinking water in China, reports TechSci Research. Water purifier demand continues to rise in the face of growing water pollution, industrialization and water borne diseases. Due to the presence of pollution, pathogens and metals in drinking water, the Chinese water purifier market is expected to maintain close to 25% yearly growth over the next five-year period, having already doubled over the past three-years. Chinese consumers are buying water purifiers due to greater awareness, which combined with poor water quality and low market penetration, will see the market go from strength to strength.



Market Outlook


The global water distribution and treatment market continues to witness increasing demand due to pressure on potable water supplies caused by intense agricultural activity to meet food demand for the global population. Lack of fresh water supplies means that demand for the desalination of seawater will continue to rise, reports Global Industry Analysts. Freshwater shortages will benefit the world water treatment market over coming years, with water reuse, recycling and desalination providing necessary solutions.


Demand for water treatment will be particularly strong in emerging nations such as Brazil, India and China. These countries will require water treatment equipment, services, supplies and chemicals as water consumption soars thanks to higher standards of living.



Leading Industry Associations




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