Water and energy conservation have become primary concerns among industries across the globe due to policies favouring and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. Membrane-based treatment technology is highly valued for its efficiency and reliability.
Smart-IoT enabled and digitalised sustainable solutions are the key growth factors in the water industry, which is characterised by an increasing stress on water resources across the globe. The municipal water market is set to extensively adopt new communication technologies such as low-power wide-area network (LPWAN), which is suited to support IoT, and explore AI and robotic solutions for process control and management, along with transitioning to sustainable business models.
Where there is a growing demand for decentralised/mobile treatment systems in the industrial water market, smart sensors with self-calibration/cleaning ability and artificial intelligence (AI) for operation and maintenance of the treatment systems are being explored.
Key 2018 industrial water predictions
Favourable policies coupled with strict enforcement of environmental regulations are driving growth.
Waste water treatment technologies
Asset sustainability and operational efficiency are set to be improved through smart IoT components and data analytics platforms.
Regulatory policies focused on conservation and sustainability have led to water utilities embracing smart process control and management systems with IoT-based communication technology and data analytics platform for improved efficiencies, apart from advanced treatment technologies. The process control and management segment is set to grow at a rate of 9,6%.
Membrane-based treatment technologies continue to dominate the market due to shifting policies which recognise desalinated water and reclaimed water as climate-proof and reliable alternative to conventional resources.
Smart water metering is gradually being adopted for reduction of leaks and non-revenue water. Additionally, smart meters are the source of value-added data to optimise resource, predict consumption patterns, and provide qualitative analysis and real-time visualisation. The smart water grid is expected to grow at a rate of 33%, with North America, Europe and China being the leading destinations.
Energy efficiency in treatment systems has become a focal point of innovation in treatment technologies. Energy-positive systems are set to become a key requirement with advancement in the use of sludge as a resource and in connecting treatment plants to renewable energy sources.
A growing trend of innovative business models like pay-for-performance and hybrid-annuity private-public partnership models are being explored and adopted by cash-strapped utilities. This helps in promoting innovation and increasing efficiency.
The top global waste recycling market trends in 2018
Water desalination in Africa
Trends impacting the desalination market:
The desalination market in Africa is dominated by North Africa, with Algeria, Libya, and Egypt at the forefront with the highest installed capacities. Egypt currently has the largest pipeline of desalination projects on the continent.
Morocco, previously constrained by its limited energy supply and procurement regulations, has ramped up its investment into desalination and renewable energy to power it. The world’s largest desalination plant, which is run entirely on solar energy, is under construction in the Agadin region.
The majority of sub-Saharan African countries have modular or small-scale desalination installations to provide water for industrial applications or water provision in rural areas. High costs have prevented large-scale plants in the past.
South Africa and a few sub-Saharan African countries use desalination as an emergency drought response owing to lower desalination capacities.
Social and demographic trends
The United Nations predicts that the African population will double by 2050, putting extra pressure on limited freshwater resources; demand will outgrow supply. This will see the rise of mega-corridors like the TAP from west to east Africa.
Decentralised solutions are growing in popularity, as they are scalable and can be relocated based on need. Modular desalinisation solutions will grow in Africa. Increasing renewable energy mix will result in renewable energy-powered desalination plants.
New business models
The high cost of desalination will cause countries like Namibia and Botswana to share desalination resources. There is a shift to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) and build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) models to share the risk across the public and private sectors, The design-build-operate (DBO) model will increase in popularity as municipalities will seek a “one-stop-shop” from design to build to operation and maintenance (O&M) of plant.
Persistent innovation in membrane technology, ERDs, and brine disposal/use will have a significant impact on the desalination market in Africa. Reducing the energy has the potential to reduce the O&M cost by as much as 20%.
Competitive landscape trends
As African companies develop a proven track record, there will be less reliance on foreign companies resulting in marketing share growth of African companies.
Contact Donna Liedemann, Frost and Sullivan, Tel 021 680-3574, firstname.lastname@example.org
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