Bluefield: Big data, IoT will positively impact global infrastructure gap

According to Bluefield Research, the water sector will spend more than $20 billion in metering, data management and analytics globally by 2025, as cutting-edge, smart water solutions continue to gain traction with municipal water utilities that see data and analytics as tools for addressing aging infrastructure.

At the root of this change is the mounting financial pressure that is forcing water utilities and municipalities to do more with less. This has sparked an uptick in demand for innovative solutions to more cost-effectively manage billing and customer management, leakage rates, and energy consumption.

“By zeroing-in on key drivers of operating costs, water utilities are optimizing their operations with smart technologies,” according to Keith Hays, vice president of Bluefield Research. “The solutions are not new, as they draw from existing equipment, software and analytics tools but a significant hurdle will be integrating legacy systems with new software platforms.”

In some cases, the results have been significant: halving non-revenue water – leaks and billing errors – and reducing energy consumption from 20 to 40 percent. As much as 30 percent of water utility operating expenditures can be improved almost immediately through more dynamic and real-time system monitoring, according to Bluefield.


The 39 U.S. projects and the 21 U.K. projects were the most active smart water markets during the last half of 2016 (source: Bluefield Research).

The smart water sector is expected to scale to $12 billion in the US and $11 billion in Europe by 2025. Other hotspots for smart water activity include Australia, Singapore and Israel, where water stress and established utility network operators are more receptive to advanced technology adoption. European utilities are at the forefront of smart water in terms of operational solutions, while the US leads in terms of metering.

Bluefield has seen an uptick of M&A with larger, more diversified players like Honeywell, Trimble and Xylem moving deeper into the sector. “Smart water is bringing a wide range of new companies into the water industry, from multiple sectors and value chain positions, which is fitting for an industry opening itself up to the massive potential,” said Hays. “We expect to see more industry consolidation over the next 3-5 years, as technology firms build utility track records and larger industrial players find synergies within their larger product portfolios.”

About Bluefield ResearchPrint

Bluefield Research provides data, analysis and insights on global water markets. Executives rely on our water experts to validate their assumptions, address critical questions, and strengthen strategic planning processes. Bluefield helps key decision-makers at municipal utilities, engineering, procurement, & construction firms, technology and equipment suppliers, and investment firms advance their water strategies.

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