October 2017 Vol. 72 No. 10


Water Reuse Capacity To Increase 37% Over Next Decade

An increasing focus on resiliency and water-supply risk is driving investment in water reuse, or reclaimed wastewater solutions. New capacity additions in the U.S. municipal water sector are forecasted to surpass $21.5 billion from 2017 to 2027, according to a new report from Bluefield Research, U.S. Municipal Water Reuse: Opportunities, Outlook, & Competitive Landscape, 2017-2027.
“Just look at the rise in reuse projects in the pipeline,” said Erin Bonney Casey, Bluefield Research director. “In 2015, Bluefield monitored 247 projects across 11 states. Now we are tracking more than 775 reuse projects across 19 states.”

Prompting this, she added, “Climate volatility, such as the hurricane in Houston and California’s five-year drought, is forcing municipal utilities to seek alternative strategies to de-risk existing water supplies, and water reuse has become key solution in their contingency plans.”

At the epicenter of activity are three states – California, Texas and Florida – which represent 80 percent of planned capacity additions. Even after the rains arrived last year, California utilities demonstrated a paradigm shift by proceeding to move forward with more than 6.0 million m3/d of new reuse supplies, including systems for potable application.
Bluefield forecasts 2.2 million m3/d of potable capacity additions over the next decade, across the U.S., mainly in urban centers.

With investment expected to grow 15 percent over 10 years, compared to only 1 percent annually for municipal water infrastructure generally, municipal reuse presents a major growth opportunity in a traditionally slow-paced sector. The majority of this CAPEX spend over the next decade will go to pipes (42 percent), advanced treatment technologies and solutions (40 percent), and engineering and design (13 percent).
“Historically, irrigation for agriculture, urban green spaces and golf courses has been the primary application,” said Bonney Casey. “But now, we see craft breweries and data centers using recycled wastewater, as well as an increasing interest in onsite, or decentralized reuse systems, in commercial facilities for toilets, cooling and landscaping.”

Boston, MA-based Bluefield is an independent insight firm, focused exclusively on water markets, that provides actionable, data-backed analysis, supported by a transparent research methodology and ongoing access.

Bluefield Research, (617) 910-2540, bluefieldresearch.com

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