Global demand to increase more than 6% annually through 2016
World demand for water infrastructure equipment is projected to increase more than six percent per year to exceed $100 billion in 2016. Advances will result from two key factors: in developing nations, access to water supply and sanitation will be increased; in developed nations, aging water infrastructure will need repair and upgrade.
Plastic pipe, meters among fastest growing products
Among products, plastic pipe will post strong gains through 2016, continuing to steadily take market share from other pipe materials. Rising demand for plastic pipe will be driven by its inexpensiveness compared to metal or concrete. Meters -- particularly smart meters -- will post solid gains due to suppliers’ attempts to reduce operational costs and leakage.
Expansion of sanitation services to drive gains in developing nations
In less developed nations, gains will be prompted by expansion of sanitation services, access to which in many countries remains considerably lower than for water supply systems. In the least developed parts of Asia and Africa, market gains will be among the fastest in the world, but even that robust level of growth will leave several hundred million people without access to safe water or even minimal sanitation facilities. Virtually by definition, infrastructure construction in developing nations has been hampered by funding issues. However, government and nongovernmental organizations are increasing their focus on the issue of water management, which will provide opportunities for equipment suppliers.
Upgrades, repairs to aging pipe networks to pompt growth in developed markets
In the most developed markets -- particularly the US -- gains will result from efforts to upgrade and repair aging sewer and water pipe networks. Funding will continue to be the key issue facing the industry in developed nations. Government entities, faced with budgetary limitations, have historically neglected water infrastructure in favor of higher profile projects. Many current water systems have pipelines over a century old, leading to increased main breaks.