Need for infrastructure resilience and efficiency fueling demand for digital water solutions, Frost & Sullivan analysis finds

April 28, 2022
Digital twins will experience high uptake due to their ability to optimize processes and enhance efficiencies.

According to Frost & Sullivan's new analysis, the increasing focus on enhancing resource efficiency and overall system resilience is driving demand for digital water solutions. In addition, emerging digital solutions such as digital twins (DT) that focus on networks and treatment facilities are expected to witness high double-digit growth in the next five years. Due to their potential to unlock new levels of resource efficiency, digital water solutions are likely to grow from $27.10 billion in 2021 to $63.02 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 23.5%.

"The pandemic has provided new impetus for exploring advanced digital solutions, primarily to drive systemic change in enabling a nimble and efficient system of asset management and the workforce associated with the water industry," said Paul Hudson, industry analyst for energy and environment at Frost & Sullivan. "Key applications include reducing non-revenue water (NRW) in the water distribution networks, optimizing and decreasing energy consumption in the water infrastructure, and enhancing the circularity in the water cycle."

Hudson added, "From a regional perspective, North America and Europe will primarily focus on adopting DT solutions for event management and asset optimization of water and wastewater networks. The Middle East will employ DT to improve the efficiency of its desalination plants and Asia-Pacific for optimizing the processes of its treatment facilities."

The renewed focus on water conservation and resilience against extreme natural events is creating growth opportunities. Digital water solution providers should consider:

Implementing digital twins to mitigate risks and improve resilience: Solution providers of digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-based asset management, and decision or predictive intelligence should consider offering enterprise-level solutions that integrate the entire water life cycle.

Offering end-to-end asset management: AI and ML-based asset management solutions will be a game-changer due to their ability to automate standard and complex tasks such as leveraging multiple variables and taking multiple actions.

Enabling decarbonization and net-zero using the outcomes-as-a-service model: An outcomes-as-a-service business model could help meet expected sustainability outcomes such as increased overall system resilience and new value addition through circularity.

Providing 5G and advanced edge computing solutions: 5G can be especially useful for real-time data visualization and applications such as smart water metering and asset health monitoring and management.

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