The S-Network Global Water IndexesSM incorporate companies involved in many segments of the global water industry. The water industry is defined and measured in various ways, but essentially comprises the businesses of managing water supply and treating wastewater for various types of end users – residential, industrial, commercial, or agricultural. The industry is divided into two main segments, utilities and infrastructure.

  • Utilities. The delivery of municipal water and wastewater services are primarily a government function globally, although these services are provided through the private sector in a wide number of key jurisdictions around the world.
  • Infrastructure. The sale of equipment, technology, and services to water utilities is dominated by the private sector, which is experiencing significant growth as the need for upgrading and expanding municipal water and sewer infrastructure continues to rise.

Water: A Crucial Resource

Hundreds of articles have been published on the investment opportunities in the water sector. The underlying thesis is the same: water is one of the most crucial inputs to the global economy, not only supporting residential populations with safe, reliable drinking water, but as a necessary “feedstock” for industrial processes, including electrical power generation, semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical production, and food and beverage processing. Water is also vital to agricultural production, and increasingly rainwater and groundwater supplies are not meeting local agricultural needs in many places around the globe. Join us as we explore some of the fundamental dynamics that drive the development of the global water industry.

Key Market Drivers

  • Water Supply and Demand. The global water supply/demand imbalance is increasing. Infrastructure Investment. In addition to water supply needs, there is a growing need for investment in the infrastructure required to deliver water to the end user and transport wastewater back to treatment plants.
  • Environmental Regulations. In addition to needs for water supply and infrastructure, a wide range of environmental regulations designed to improve the quality and safety of water supplies impacts the global water industry.
  • Technology Development. Though water itself is a very basic commodity, developments in technology used to treat water, deliver it in an efficient manner, or measure its quality are making profound changes in the water industry.

The Water Markets

  • The Size of the Water Industry. The most widely used estimate of the size of the global water market over the last two years has been in the range of $360 billion.
  • Industry Segments. The global water industry divides into a number of key segments, all of which are essential to the development and maintenance of clean water supplies.