NEW YORK — Oct. 12, 2015 — The U.S. water industry is increasingly technology focused, according to a new assessment by accounting and consulting firm WeiserMazars LLP.

The firm’s 2015 U.S. Water Industry Outlook found that the industry views technology and innovation as the means to address aging water and wastewater infrastructure, reduce operating costs and comply with regulatory issues.

Representatives of public and private water systems, industry investors and suppliers, and government regulators were in overwhelming agreement that technical innovation was both a major investment opportunity for the water industry, as well as the main competitive driver, WeiserMazars said in a press release.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed that technology will play a key role in competitiveness in the water industry over the next ten years. In particular, they cited energy efficiency, smart metering/business intelligence and asset management programs as important factors in increasing performance metrics.

“Energy efficient technologies have been a focus of the water industry for some time now,” commented Robert Wilson, water and utilities practice group partner, in the release. “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.”

In addition to highlighting the industry’s increasing focus on technology, this year’s report raised issues that have surfaced in WeiserMazars’ past two studies: the challenges posed by aging infrastructure and, to a lesser degree, regulatory compliance and staffing issues, said Jerome Devillers, a Partner in the 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,” Devillers added in the release.

You can find the entire release here.