BOSTON — Feb. 18, 2016 — The global market for water public-private partnership (PPP) projects is predicted to nearly triple between 2016 and 2020, according to a press release.

New projects will add an average of 16 million cubic meters per day (m3/day) of treatment capacity annually versus approximately 6 million m3/day between 2010 and 2015, according to a new report by Bluefield Research.

Dramatic declines in oil and commodity prices, low water tariffs, groundwater overdrafts and untreated wastewater discharges are prompting many governments to tap the private sector through PPP schemes, the research firm said in the release. Total investment during the forecast period is expected to surpass $58 billion, of which 80 percent will target new seawater desalination and wastewater treatment plants.

Bluefield Research expects the global adoption of the water PPP model to come to the fore in the next five years through a combination of continued growth in markets where this model is well established (such as China and Brazil), resurgence in countries that have stalled (Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico and Egypt) and new markets opening up (Persian Gulf countries, Vietnam, Peru and the U.S.).

“Particularly in emerging markets, led by China, municipalities are hard pressed to match the financial capacity and operational expertise that the private sector can provide,” said Phuong Pham, senior analyst at Bluefield Research, in the release. “National governments aim to de-risk their water sectors for private investment with new PPP laws and more attractive contract tenders, while preserving long-term control over assets.”

You can find the entire release here.