During the past century, demand for water has increased by more than twice the rate of population growth, driven largely by agricultural use. In the face of continuing growth in water demand and a large percentage of "non-revenue water" in the distribution system, water utilities are increasingly turning to smart water infrastructure technologies as a means of improving the efficiency of their operations. Advanced sensor networks and automation systems will enable more accurate leak detection throughout the water distribution system, and one the most important strategies for utilities will be the installation of smart water meters at the customer premise.
According to a recent report from Pike Research, cumulative global investment in smart water meters will total $4.2 billion during the years from 2010 to 2016, with annual market revenues reaching $856 million by the end of the period, a 110% increase over 2010 levels. By 2016, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the worldwide installed base of smart water meters will reach 31.8 million units, up from 8.0 million in 2010.
"Water metering alone has a powerful conservation impact," says research analyst Jevan Fox. "Studies show that using water meters to bill customers based on their actual consumption cuts water use by 15% or more. When water suppliers add meter reading automation to the mix, the conservation impact is even more significant."
Fox adds that numerous factors pose challenges to the wider adoption of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) for water. The water utility market is highly fragmented in many parts of the world. Infrequent meter reading limits the cost savings of automation. Labor issues can further limit the acceptance of automated meter reading. Technology issues range from limited bandwidth for wireless communication to a lack of global technological standards. Despite these challenges, however, Pike Research anticipates that the benefits of AMI will drive strong demand from water utilities worldwide.
Pike Research's report, "Smart Water Meters", examines the worldwide market for smart water metering, including an in-depth analysis of market drivers and barriers, technology issues, and key industry dynamics. Case studies are provided for major smart meter water deployments, and key industry players are profiled, including an analysis of their relative strengths and weaknesses. The report includes detailed market segmentation and forecasts through 2016.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.
source: Pike Research