Eco Concerns over Industry Wastewater Management Fuel Demand for Treatment Equipment Market

The Indian Water and Wastewater treatment market is on a growth path and is expected to reflect high growth rate for the next five years. Globally, governments have realized that the supply of clean water and effective treatment of wastewater are crucial for sustainable development. The lack of freshwater resources is becoming a global issue and resulting in the rapid growth of technologies for water reuse and recycling.

In the last decade, the demand for fresh water in India has continued to increase at a rapid pace due to increasing industrialization and urbanization. Several industries such as power, refineries, and chemicals are adopting efficient and sustainable technology to ensure fresh water supply.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of Indian Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of over Rs 63.07 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach Rs 102.34 billion in 2016.

Industrial sector is growing at a higher rate than that of the municipal sector. Power, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, refineries and textiles are generating immense opportunities in the water and wastewater treatment equipment market, and prefer advanced treatment technological systems such as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for treating their wastewater. The growth of these industries is expected to drive equipment sales.

Adoption of advanced technology like zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is low when compared to the global scenario. This is mainly because setting up a ZLD system involves high capital investment. The energy requirement too, is high, leading to increased operational expenses, which deters these sectors installing the ZLD systems. With stringent regulations and legislations in place, this scenario is expected to change in the next five years.

The municipal water and wastewater treatment is gaining importance. The usage of disinfection systems such as ultraviolet, ozone, and electro chlorination is minimal in municipal water treatment plants at present. Urban cities in India lack infrastructure for sanitation, and the wastewater generated is not managed appropriately. However, due to growing concerns of deterioration of water quality and health problems for the public, this is bound to change.

To improve the infrastructure for water supply and sanitation in urban areas, the government is assisting Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and the state governments through various schemes and special central assistance (SCA).

Mumbai has high per capita water consumption, while the demand for water in Chennai is expected to increase four times by 2025. Other alternative such as desalination has already been implemented in coastal areas such as Chennai to meet the water demand. Various policies promote the participation of private companies in municipal water projects and the improvement of existing facilities, enhancing the prospects of the water and wastewater treatment equipment market.

The proposed tax breaks for industries that save water will boost water recycling. This will, in turn, reduce dependence on the dwindling groundwater and surface-water resources, and boost the uptake of treatment solutions.

However, slow and inconsistent implementation of these regulations hampers market growth. In addition, the purchase cycle of treatment systems is low, since end users perceive water treatment equipment as a one-time investment and expect a long product life.

Several small and medium scale participants offer solutions at decreased prices targeted at price-sensitive industrial users. This further constricts revenue inflow.

“End users prefer products that come with quick after-sales services and technical support. Companies that provide energy and cost effective solutions with efficient after sales support will be preferred by end-user. Also since municipal projects are huge, joint ventures or forming a consortium is the key to winning mega projects” noted the Frost & Sullivan Environment Analyst.

According a BusinessWire release, as water scarcity grows severe, there will be greater focus on sustainable and advanced technologies. Innovative solutions such as forward osmosis and solar desalination will provide additional impetus to the Indian water treatment market.

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