When I first decided to include the topic “Trends in the Water Industry” in Water & Wastes Digest’s 2006 Editorial Calendar, I had a number of article ideas in mind. The options included detailing a specific trend such as design-build in the water and wastewater industry, or addressing a variety of financial and technological trends that have become increasingly popular in the last few years.
As I further researched possible directions for the Trends article, I paid close attention to input from Water & Wastes Digest readers. I received numerous suggestions, which resulted in the decision to focus on the growing number of design-build projects by water and wastewater utilities.
Although not included in the article, I came across some interesting financial trends that I would like to share with you.
One of these trends involves the increasing number of investment and financing programs in the global municipal water and wastewater market.
For example, in the past, the Russian municipal water and wastewater marketplace has been plagued by lack of investment. As a result, many wastewater treatment plants are in need of upgrades, triggering significant demand for innovative treatment methods to manage the effluent being generated. With low quality drinking water common throughout the country, Russian water plants have a similar need for treatment equipment upgrades and infrastructure renovations.
Fortunately, financing programs totaling about $1 billion have been incorporated to help Russia upgrade water and wastewater treatment systems today. Positive revenue trends, which include the total market value from equipment sale for water and wastewater treatment plants, are expected to amount to $1.5 billion by 2012.
China is another country seeing an increase in investment and financing programs for their water and wastewater treatment plants. Specifically in the next five years, the city of Beijing plans to improve water resources per capita, which is presently about a quarter of the world average and could fall even further as water shortage continues to be a problem. Wastewater treatment may be a solution as Beijing has plans to build five new wastewater plants.
Currently, less than half of the wastewater generated in China is treated and recycled. To ease water shortage, the Chinese government has vowed to raise this figure 60 to 70% within five years.
Other trends relayed by Water & Wastes Digest readers include disinfection byproduct control, microbial removal, treatment of inorganic contaminants, water and wastewater security concerns, and contaminant analyzation methods.
In addition, readers frequently request information on technology trends involving water treatment. One way Water & Wastes Digest has addressed this request is by increasing the frequency of the supplement, Membrane Technology, Solutions for Water Treatment. A selected group of readers will find the latest Membrane Technology included with this issue of Water & Wastes Digest. For those of you who didn’t receive a copy, feel free to contact me, and I would be happy to send you one.
You can also find additional water treatment content within the Membrane Technology Zone, which can be found at www.WWDmag.com.