Aging infrastructure remains the top concern in the water industry
Investment in technology is critical for the nation’s water industry as it strives to address aging infrastructure, reduce operating costs and comply with regulatory issues. This is one of the key findings highlighted in the 2015 U.S. Water Industry Outlook published by WeiserMazars LLP, an accounting, tax and advisory services firm. The survey of industry leaders, including public and private water systems, industry investors and suppliers, and government regulators, found overwhelming agreement that technical innovation was both a major investment opportunity for the water industry, as well as the main competitive driver.
This year’s outlook, the third since 2012, provides an overall picture of the water industry from an operational and financial perspective, as well as identifying future industry trends.
“In addition to highlighting the increasing focus of the industry on technology, this year’s Outlook reconfirmed themes that have surfaced in our past two studies – namely the challenges posed by aging infrastructure and, to a lesser degree, regulatory compliance and staffing issues,” said Jerome Devillers, a partner in the WeiserMazars Water and Utilities Practice Group. “On the positive side, this year respondents indicated a more favorable outlook for infrastructure financing, noting that funding is more readily available and accessible.”
Nearly 80% of respondents agreed that technology will play a key role in competitiveness in the water industry over the next 10 years. Energy efficiency, smart metering/business intelligence and asset management programs were highlighted as particularly important to increase performance metrics.
“Energy efficient technologies have been a focus of the water industry for some time now,” said Robert Wilson, Water and Utilities Practice Group partner. “Smart metering and business intelligence continue to gain momentum among system operators, while asset management programs have expanded across the industry, generating green benefits, reducing energy costs and decreasing the number of critical systems failures.”