Water & Wastewater

Just like fresh air, water is an essential natural resource that all life on Earth depends on. Although about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, less than one percent of the planet’s total water resources can be classified as accessible freshwater resources. The demand for water continues to rise as populations grow and economies improve, while climate change and water pollution are also putting additional strain on water supplies. These factors have increased the importance of the water sector, which is responsible for providing safe drinking water and wastewater services. Investment and advances in technologies are needed across the global water infrastructure to meet growing demands. In emerging countries, the bulk of water infrastructure spending goes to filtration and desalination projects, while developed countries are anxious to invest in their existing water supply networks as these continue to age.

Agriculture's share of global water withdrawals
72%
Annual water withdrawals in Asia
2.6 trillion m³
Share of global population with access to at least basic drinking water services
90%

Market size

Water withdrawals have increased significantly
Estimated regional water withdrawals worldwide as of 2018, by sector* (in billion cubic meters)
Estimated regional water withdrawals worldwide as of 2018, by sector* (in billion cubic meters)
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The volume of water withdrawn annually worldwide for agriculture, industry, and domestic use has increased dramatically over the past century, and as of 2018 stood at approximately four trillion cubic meters. Water use is highest in Asia by far, where roughly 2.1 trillion cubic meters is withdrawn each year for agricultural purposes such as irrigation.

Water accessibility worldwide
Global water withdrawals by select country
Global water withdrawal per capita by select country

Market segments

How big is the water and wastewater treatment market?
Water and wastewater treatment market size worldwide in 2020, with a forecast to 2028 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Water and wastewater treatment market size worldwide in 2020, with a forecast to 2028 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

The water and wastewater treatment segment is essential for providing clean and safe water to the global population by disinfecting drinking water, treating wastewater, as well as desalinating seawater. The global water and wastewater treatment market size fell to 263 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, but is expected to have rebounded in 2021. Projections show the market will continue to grow in the coming years to reach a value of 460 billion U.S. dollars by 2028.

Global water industry
Global water and wastewater treatment equipment market size
Market share of water markets worldwide

Industry trends

Water infrastructure repair market is set to grow
Global water infrastructure repair market value from 2020 to 2026 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Global water infrastructure repair market value from 2020 to 2026 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Many countries have aging water and wastewater networks that are nearing the end of their useful life. There is a constant need for maintenance to deal with the growing number of leaks and contaminations. Therefore, improving infrastructures will be vital in the coming years, with digitalization expected to play a big role in addressing these challenges, such as through leak detection. The global water infrastructure repair market is expected to reach a value of 140 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.

Water pipeline detection system market size worldwide in 2021
Challenges facing the water, wastewater, and stormwater industry in the U.S.
Water company investment packages in the UK

Industry leaders

Leading water companies worldwide
Market value of leading water companies worldwide in 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Market value of leading water companies worldwide in 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Water companies are responsible for providing the public with safe drinking water and wastewater services, as well as maintaining vast networks of pipes and sewers. The U.S.-based public utility company American Water Works is a leading player in the water sector and had a market value of more than 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. Other leading companies in the global water sector include the French-based utilities Veolia Environnement and Suez.

American Water
Veolia Environnement S.A
Leading water and sewer utilities companies based on sales revenue in the United States

Industry Definition

The water and waste management category provides statistics and reports on all aspects involved in the global water sector. These include topics such as water demand and consumption, water and wastewater treatment, water scarcity, as well as water prices and water utilities.

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