World demand to reach $65 billion in 2015
World demand for water treatment products is projected to reach $65 billion in 2015. The global population continues to expand, while the world’s water supply does not. The developing world continues to industrialize as more industrialized nations rebound from the recent economic downturn. As a result, the need for clean, safe water and suitable treatment of wastewater -- either for reuse or for discharge -- will boost demand for water treatment chemicals and equipment.
Developing regions need more basic water treatment
In many developing regions, such as much of the Asia/Pacific and Africa/ Mideast regions, too few people have access to safe water. An estimated one billion people do not have access to a safe water supply, and a considerably larger number do not have access to sanitation facilities. In some nations, such as in Eastern Europe and some industrialized Asian countries, water access issues have been resolved for a large majority of the population, but water quality remains subpar after decades of disregard for proper water stewardship.
Rapidly industrializing nations, such as China and India, struggle with obtaining supplies of usable water, especially in fast-growing urban areas, and with the difficulties associated with treating and discharging wastewater. Wastewater treatment rates in these countries are usually well below official estimates, and even treated wastewater is often treated insufficiently.
Developed, affluent nations also face water problems
Even developed, affluent nations confront water problems. Some countries, including the United States, have population centers where native water supplies are inadequate or inferior. In some instances, the country as a whole lacks an adequate water supply. This has led to a renewed interest in desalination, not only in the traditional Middle Eastern market, but in countries such as Australia, China and Spain as well.
Other countries with modern, welldeveloped water infrastructures face issues including antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals leaching into the water supply, pathogens and pesticides in agricultural runoff, and the need to reform water treatment techniques so they do not create byproducts that additionally challenge the water supply.
In the Middle East, the largest desalination market, efforts are underway to be less reliant on fossil fuels to power desalination plants, including the use of membrane desalination systems which have much lower energy requirements. Advances have allowed for improvements in water quality without increasing the cost of water. For example, improvements in membranes and energy recovery devices have made desalination more affordable by reducing production costs. Improved treatment chemical formulations offer performance comparable to traditional products without causing comparable environmental challenges.
Countries with generally good water supplies are able to treat water to meet higher aesthetic standards, far beyond the basic criteria for safety and cleanliness, allowing for greater elective use of activated carbon and other products. More exacting standards for water quality and wastewater discharge will boost demand for high performance filter and membrane systems in industrial and municipal water treatment settings.
World Demand for Water Treatment Products to Approach $65 Billion in 2015
World demand for water treatment products is projected to increase 6.2 percent per year to nearly $65 billion in 2015. Although growth will be healthy across the globe, the drivers of growth will vary by region. China will remain by far the fastest growing major market. In just a few short decades, China has gone from being a country in which water treatment was at best an afterthought to being the second largest water treatment market in the world. Nevertheless, growth in China will inevitably slow from the torrid pace set in the early years of the 21st century. These and other trends are presented in World Water Treatment Products, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
In the most developed markets -- the US, Japan and most of Western Europe -- gains will result from efforts to increase water reuse rates, improve the quality of drinking water, and further reduce the chances of water contamination and environmental damage. Such efforts will boost demand for products such as advanced membrane systems, disinfection equipment and specialty chemicals used in industrial wastewater treatment. In the US and a few other developed countries, demand will also be boosted by increased desalination capacity.
In less developed, industrializing nations, gains will be prompted by expansion of sanitation services, access to which in many countries remains considerably lower than for water supply systems -- particularly in Asia and Africa. Industrial water treatment gains will result from efforts to meet global standards for wastewater reclamation and effluent discharge quality.
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. In the large Middle Eastern market, gains will be prompted by continued expansion of desalination capacity in the region, in both the desalination leaders Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and in countries such as Algeria and Israel. The expansion of desalination will boost demand for evaporators and membrane systems.
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