BOSTON — U.S. private water companies are positioned to help close an infrastructure investment gap of over $500 billion for wastewater treatment and drinking water during the next 20 years, thanks to a revised regulatory landscape, according to a press release.

This past June, President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that aims to alleviate investment gridlock into federal law, stated the release.

Accompanying the WRRDA is a collection of private proposals, including guidelines for public-private partnership (PPP) legislation to support municipalities’ financing upgrades and optimizing management of their water networks, as well as the creation of a federal water authority and the removal of caps on private water bonds, noted the release.

Bluefield analyzes how a diverse set of strategies, with a range from greenfield development by independent water suppliers to pursuing the investor-owned utility (IOU) model through acquisitions, is helping companies enter and grow in the U.S., noted the release

“New legislation and M&A potential are piquing the interest of domestic and international players – particularly those seeking IOU plays,” said Keith Hays, VP of Bluefield Research and lead analyst for US Private Water Market: Opportunities & Strategies, 2014, in the press release. “Large scale IOUs have focused their portfolios in states with larger populations and policies favorable to private participation in municipal water, including California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.”

Read the entire press release here.