A Frost & Sullivan analysis revealed that the increasing focus on enhancing resource efficiency and overall system resilience is driving demand for digital water solutions. 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,” noted Paul Hudson, industry analyst, energy & environment at Frost & Sullivan.
Key applications include reducing non-revenue water (NRW) in the water distribution networks, optimising and decreasing energy consumption in the water infrastructure, and enhancing the circularity in the water cycle.
While North America and Europe will primarily focus on adopting DT solutions for event management and asset optimisation of water and wastewater networks, Asia-Pacific will employ DT to optimise 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 decarbonisation 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 visualisation and applications such as smart water metering and asset health monitoring and management.