The Global Smart Water Management Market is expected to register a CAGR of approximately 12.5% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The worldwide demand for water, as a result of the growing population, increasing urbanization, and the need to address the cost implications of maintaining an aging infrastructure, is among the major driving factors for the growth of the smart water management market.
Owing to global demand, the need to address the efficiency related to operational issues of water management became essential, due to which adoption of smart water management technologies is expected to gain significant traction. The growth of IoT, smart cities across various locations are expected to promote the growth of the market studied. Technological advancements related to smart meters and their integration with communication solutions (SCADA, GIS, etc.) have transformed water management systems to address the challenges faced by water utilities, residents, and industries erroneous billing and water management.
The smart water management products consist of sensors, smart meters, communication infrastructure, and software that enables two-way communication, thus allowing users to gather actionable information and make informed decisions about optimized water distribution and usage. The global water scarcity trends are the sole reason to justify the increasing innovations in this sector and growing adoption. The UN World Water Development Report suggests that by 2050, a quarter of the people will reside in an area affected by the recurring and chronic scarcity of freshwater.
The market comprises technology giants that include IBM, Schneider Electric, Hitachi Ltd, Utility Systems, SUEZ Group, etc., who provide smart water management solutions with advanced cloud-based monitoring technologies, smart meter manufacturers (Honeywell, Sensus, etc.), and software providers, like Esri, i20Water Solutions, etc. are continuously innovating new solutions for the prevention of water wastage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments globally to think of measures to scale up the adoption of water-efficient technologies and introduce better water management practices since the spread of coronavirus has profoundly impacted the water industry. For instance, according to AWWA and the AMWA, the combined water and wastewater sector impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the US is calculated to be more than USD 27 billion. Millions of American citizens who have lost their jobs during the crisis are at risk of losing running water if they fall behind with bill payments in the coming months, as water utilities in several states have not suspended the policy of shutoffs for non-payment, unlike the UK.
Furthermore, the demand for IoT-enabled advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) smart water meters is increasing due to their real-time visualization, leak detection, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, among other benefits. For instance, in January 2020, Esri announced its partnership with Open Systems International, Inc. (OSI). Esri’s ArcGIS Utility Network Management is expected to be offered to customers in the electric, gas, and water utility industries. The geographic information system (GIS) and OSI’s monarch operational technology (OT) platform does the job for these facilities. Additionally, Industry 4.0 has been witnessing the amalgamation of industrial IoT and smart water management.
Key Market Trends
Residential is Expected to Hold Major Share
Residential water usage accounts for a large portion of water consumption globally, as water is considered to be one of the luxuries that need 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 are becoming cheaper and 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.
For instance, WEGoT, a utility solution provider, provides sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices and a software platform, VenAqua, which reduces the demand for water by more than 50%, especially in residential buildings, by tracking real-time flow. The granular data collected from various installations across residential buildings are analyzed, and the insights are shared with the end-users on a mobile app. The solution provided by the startup is subscription-based, wherein the company gives the product free, and users pay a nominal monthly fee of INR 149(Residential) / INR 0.20 per sq. Ft (Commercial) apart from installation charges.
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, has 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. Smart buildings are the microcosm of smart cities, and it is one of the starting points for building transforming into smart cities for managing energy, water, and lighting, to deliver security and emergency services. Additionally, residential homes are growing vertically across the world; hence, there is an opportunity for deploying centralized smart water management solutions to gain more impact.
Asia Pacific is Expected to Register Fastest Growth
The Asia Pacific region is home to more than 2.1 billion urban residents, with over two-thirds estimated to be living 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 water distributed) and Singapore. Such figures signify the need for water management and indicate the potential for market growth in the region. Significant initiatives to develop smart water systems are evident in Asian countries, like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, among others, indicating the scope for the growth of the market.
The rising number of smart cities in the region is expected to create substantial business opportunities for smart water management solution providers. Accounting for about half a million dollars, India is planning to build over 100 smart cities by 2022, which is expected to impact almost 1 billion.
Significant initiatives to develop smart water systems are evident in the Asian areas, like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, among others, indicating the scope for the growth of the market. Japan, which has relatively lower NRW (US-24%), has been investing 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, is enabling the monitoring of water usage with the help of smart solutions. The plug and play system utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze water usage, 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 in the process.
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 quite fragmented as the market comprises several global players and emerging new players vying for attention in a fairly contested market space. Owing to the emergence of new startups in IoT and AI-based offerings, the market is witnessing intensifying competitive rivalry, which is expected to increase during the forecast period. Some of the significant companies include IBM, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Honeywell, etc. Some key recent developments in the market include:
June 2021 - Mueller Water Products, Inc. announced the acquisition of i2O Water Ltd. to enhance its ability to accelerate its software offerings. Additionally, Mueller plans to introduce i2O’s products and solutions in North America, where i2O currently has no presence.
March 2021 - SUEZ and Schneider Electric established a joint venture to strengthen their position in developing innovative digital water solutions. This joint venture would support municipal water operators and industrial players in accelerating their digital transformations by providing a unique range of software solutions for planning, maintenance, operation, and optimization of water treatment infrastructure.
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