Digital Transformation of the Australian Water and Wastewater Sector
Australia has witnessed unprecedented extreme weather events of drought and flood. Climate change also plays a role in drought and flood severity and recurrence. With over 80% of its population living in and around urban hotspots, the country is one of the most urbanized worldwide. As such, water and wastewater (W&WW) utilities in Australia are under constant pressure to improve and invest in their infrastructure to meet the demands of its growing urban population and be more resilient to climate change-induced weather disruptions.
Frost & Sullivan’s analysis shows that all major water utilities focus on reducing non-revenue water to conserve water and enhance water security during dry spells. They also invest in improving sewer networks to minimize spills, which have a high cost impact, and effectively manage stormwater during wet seasons. On a macro level, W&WW utilities are entering a new investment phase to deliver on environmental, social, and governance goals to mitigate climate change-related risks. Digital solutions serve as the core enabler for near and long-term measurable targets.
Most digital spending by utilities is on hardware, such as smart water sensors and meters. However, Frost & Sullivan anticipates software and data analytics solutions to register high investments over the study period (2019–2028). There will be increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning-based solutions that allow process level or system automation; detect or predict issues like leaks, spills, and system failures; holistically monitor and manage demand or events; and ensure regulatory compliance. Notably, new tenders in W&WW network construction now include installing digital systems for monitoring and optimization. This demonstrates the future importance of digital solutions as a critical enabler of sustainability.
The scope of this study’s addressable market is the W&WW utility market, including council-run water and wastewater operations. This includes W&WW assets operated for in-house use by commercial and industrial enterprises. Segments in this research are hardware, software, on-site communications, and digital services. The market analysis considers smart water meter solutions and the intelligent water utility network.
Other aspects covered include:
• Growth drivers and restraints
• ICT expenditure size and year-on-year growth in the W&WW market
• Technologies, demands, and service trends likely to impact opportunities
• Leading solution providers and the competitive tools that provide differentiation
• Growth opportunities for solutions providers
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