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The global water and wastewater treatment market size was valued at USD 301.77 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 323.32 billion in 2023 to USD 536.41 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period. North America dominated the global market with a share of 38.67% in 2022.
Water and wastewater treatment is necessary to meet the growing demand for clean water resources, not only for municipal and agricultural purposes but also for critical industrial processes. Currently, over 40% of the global population resides in regions marked under critical water stress. With only about 1% of the water available on earth being freshwater, countries facing sharp water poverty have been compelled to carry out treatment to convert seawater into freshwater via the desalination process. For instance, in March 2022, Saudi Arabia revealed more than sixty water treatment projects at the third MENA Desalination Projects Forum. These projects are expected to triple the country’s desalination capacity by the end of 2027.
Increasing competition has prompted key market players to improve their water and wastewater treatment service networks. Global companies are signing acquisition deals with local players to gain a strong competitive edge. For instance, in January 2022, SUEZ announced the acquisition of Sentinel Monitoring Systems, an Arizona-based real-time microbial monitoring company. The acquisition was made to broaden the scope of analytical instruments and tap into the existing as well as new market opportunities for microbial monitoring.
Downscaling of Industrial Activities amid Pandemic Adversely Impacted Market Growth
With few exceptions, the COVID-19 outbreak slowed down investments in the water industry. However, it also increased the significance of operational reliability to overcome the cost of disruptions. A decline in demand for water and wastewater treatment utilities from large industrial and commercial users caused by lockdowns and travel restrictions had considerably impacted the revenue margins of the companies operating in the market.
According to a Global Water Leaders group survey, industrial water demand was estimated to decline by about 27% during the FY 2019-2020. Moreover, several countries announced emergency measures to prevent the spread of the virus, which affected the revenue of municipal water treatment authorities. For instance, a water utility in Brazil agreed with the government’s call to defer the water bills and announced three months of tariff exemptions for low-income households. It also announced donations of water tanks in one of the largest settlements in its service area.
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Increasing Focus over Combination of Conventional and Novel Wastewater Treatments to Transform Market Outlook
The market players are seeking to build equipment with a unique blend of novel and traditional water and wastewater treatment techniques. For instance, in January 2022, the ‘YogJal Prithvi’ purifier was introduced by tech giant Tesla into the Indian market. This equipment was developed with the RO + UV + UF + Copper Filter + Alkaline technology, which combines traditional copper mineralization techniques with modern technology. Many researchers and companies have joined hands to develop innovative treatment techniques using advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, which are expected to open newer avenues for the growth of the water and wastewater treatment market.
Stringent Regulations on Effluent Treatment to Drive Market Growth
With technological advancement in production processes, the quantity of wastewater generated has multiplied sharply in the recent past. Effluents from companies processing chemicals, pesticides, rare metals, and other harmful chemicals and materials are hazardous to the environment. Improper treatment of these effluents may have catastrophic effects on freshwater sources. Thus, agencies, such as the U.S. EPA and FAO have set standard limits on the traces of such chemicals in the effluents before their disposal into the environment. For instance, the EPA published the Oil & Gas Extraction Effluent Guideline & Standards, last amended in 2016, which focused on wastewater retrieved from fields, oil drilling, production, and well treatment activities across the coastal, land, and offshore areas.
The regulations include punishments for perpetrators with prison time and hefty fines. The introduction of such strict regulations has made industries build water and wastewater treatment plants and carry out their timely maintenance. Thus, these factors are expected to drive the market in the forthcoming years.
High Investment Needed for Wastewater Treatment Technologies May Limit Adoption
Even with stringent regulations being placed on wastewater treatment for industries, many of them are deterred from having advanced treatment technologies set up at their premises due to heavy investments in building such plants. The complexity of operations makes it more labor-intensive, which further increases the operational cost. However, with increasing competition and reduced margins, the companies aren’t seeking such substantial investments, thus plummeting the market growth.
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Services to Gain Momentum Due to Growing Focus on Building New Treatment Plants
Based on segment, the market is classified into chemicals, equipment, and services.
The services segment is expected to grow at the highest pace as the companies are focusing on constructing novel treatment plants while maintaining the existing facilities for water and wastewater treatment. The segment's growth will be further complemented by the requirement for upgrading the existing sewage treatment facilities in developed countries.
The chemicals segment is further divided into disinfectants, coagulants & flocculants, pH conditioners, antifoam chemicals, scale & corrosion inhibitors, and others. The coagulants & flocculants segment is dominating the market as they are vital chemicals that cause sedimentation in sludge treatment techniques.
The equipment segment is divided into filtration, biological, demineralization, disinfection, sludge treatment, and others. While the filtration equipment segment holds the largest share in the market, disinfection is expected to be the fastest-growing equipment sub-segment. This is owing to substantial investments planned by governments to reduce the spread of diseases through drinking water.
High Demand for Agricultural Water to Aid Usage of Wastewater Treatment in Municipal Establishments
By application, the market is bifurcated into municipal and industrial.
Agriculture accounts for around 30% of the world's water demand, contributing to the dominance of the municipal segment. Moreover, using municipal water for amusement activities such as swimming pools and adventure parks is anticipated to increase the demand for advanced water and wastewater treatment solutions. Significant growth is expected for the industrial segment in the upcoming years. This is attributed to the tightening of regulations in developing countries. Technological advances such as bioremediation and ozone treatment, developed by Culligan Industrial Water and Suez Worldwide, will be critical for the segment's growth during the forecast period.
North America Water and Wastewater Treatment Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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North America has the largest water and wastewater treatment market share and is expected to dominate this industry in the future as well. This is attributable to the heavy demand for treated water from the beverages and pharmaceutical industries in the U.S. Moreover, the demand for higher power generation to support the growth of industries in the region has boosted the demand for demineralized water, which has further accelerated the market growth.
The market in Asia Pacific is projected to surpass North America soon. This is due to large-scale investments by China, India, and Southeast Asia to improve the water quality and sanitation services in the region. The industries in the region are focusing on developing activated sludge process-based effluent treatments to ensure compliance with regulations set by environmental bodies, thus further boosting regional market growth.
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The Europe market will be revitalized by the renovations being carried out in the existing water treatment facilities and support structures in the region to encourage the adoption of innovative wastewater treatment solutions. The Middle East & Africa market growth will be characterized by the construction of appropriate infrastructure for water desalination projects, leading to the high adoption of advanced water treatment solutions. The market in South America will be governed by low-cost, large-scale water and wastewater treatment techniques for treating effluents of paper and sugar industries.
Leading Companies to Focus on Sustainable Organic Growth to Fortify their Market Prospects
The competitive landscape of the global market is a highly fragmented one, which is slowly consolidating, with key companies, such as Veolia and Suez Environment, building a diverse portfolio to capture a major share in this market and build operational efficiency. On the other hand, the focus of the domestic players is to build strategic partnerships with industries to provide them with water and wastewater treatment services and maintenance solutions.
The crucial objective of key players operating in this market is to build an all-inclusive water treatment process using AI, advanced diagnostics, and nanotechnology to treat all the impurities present in a water resource. For instance, in February 2021, Veolia Group developed VIGIE COVID-19 plus, a solution that can monitor the presence of SARS-COV-2 and its variants in wastewater using the RT-qPCR method.
An Infographic Representation of Water and Wastewater Treatment Market
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The market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects, such as leading companies, technologies, and leading application areas. Besides this, it offers insights into the latest market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the sample report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
CAGR of 7.5% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 301.77 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 536.41 billion by 2030.
Recording a CAGR of 7.5%, the market will exhibit significant growth during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The services segment dominated the market in 2022.
Stringent regulations regarding industrial effluent treatment are fueling the demand for these solutions.
Veolia, Suez, and Xylem are the prominent players in the global market.
North America dominated the market share in 2022.
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