Backward and Forwards, Continued Growth Expected in Industrial Water Markets

Prognosticators enjoy this time of year as it gives them an opportunity to gaze into their crystal balls and guess on what’s to come.

by Carlos David Mogollón

Prognosticators enjoy this time of year as it gives them an opportunity to gaze into their crystal balls and guess on what’s to come. Other pundits prefer to look back and rank what were the top stories of the previous year.

Looking backward and forward, three studies caught my eye recently. One is by ChangeWave Research, a Phillips Investment Resources subsidiary, which is looking for additional water and wastewater industry stakeholders to augment feedback for its Water Industry Benchmark Survey, the latest of which was conducted Nov. 1-8 with 357 ChangeWave Alliance members participating - 122 of whom work for companies in the water industry.

Findings point to overall spending growth on water projects in 2007, with the greatest occurring in Asia and North America. Three-in-five U.S. respondents believe state and local governments and the private sector will increase spending. “Water Infrastructure Repair and Replacement” is seen as attracting the most in the next few years, according to respondents, followed by “Wastewater Treatment” - while “Desalination” and “Water Security” are seen as attracting the least spending. I might quibble with one of the last projections, as an article in this issue points to at least 15 desalination projects ongoing in California alone.

A McIlvaine Company update on the ultrapure water (UPW) market - high purity water used to generate steam in power plants, wash chips in semiconductor plants, and for human injectables in pharmaceuticals - notes its value will rise to over $5 billion (from $3.5 billion last year) by 2010. China, which is tops in UPW for power uses and fifth overall, is likely to move to the head of the pack as it’s expected to be the No. 1 supplier of semiconductors, the top use for UPW, by 2020.

Speaking of the power industry, a Booz Allen Hamilton year-end analysis of the utility market sees increasing environmental and price pressure on power generation due to, among other reasons, climate and carbon alternative issues related to global warming, which is underscored by Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiatives - recently and over the past year - to position the state for resulting future water supply shortfalls.

Also worthy of note, the first meeting of a National Research Council committee to study “Reducing Stormwater Discharge Contributions to Water Pollution” was scheduled Jan. 22. The expected 26-month effort’s focus: “Municipal, construction, and industrial stormwater will be considered, with special attention paid to those eight to 10 industrial sectors felt to be of highest priority in terms of pollutant discharges.”

Finally, I offer thanks to all those that contacted Industrial WaterWorld to contribute editorial in 2006. Many of their ideas were converted into valuable articles, often more than we had space for in the magazine, which I point out grew substantially this year due to ongoing and new advertising support (many thanks there as well). We’ve compensated for this by funneling some surplus articles for publication in e-newsletters for which I’m also responsible. For samples of the e-newsletters and to sign up, click on the “subscribe” button at the top of our website.

This year, we’re looking to add some specific industrial subjects. We will continue to develop new e-newsletters to serve expanding themes in the industrial water and wastewater market. If you have an idea for one, and/or would like to contribute an online column or article for a topic in which you’re a recognized expert, please contact us.

Carlos David Mogollón,
Managing Editor

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