World demand for water treatment equipment is expected to grow 6.9 percent per year to $53.4 billion in 2017, according to a report by the Freedonia Group.   Developing parts of the world—the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America—are expected to show strong growth, with gains supported by improved access to treated drinking water and sanitation facilities, particularly through greater use of filtration and membrane systems. Expanding manufacturing and industrial activities requiring water treatment equipment, such as membrane systems and disinfection equipment, will also promote growth in these regions.

Freedonia predicts more modest gains in Japan, North America and Western Europe, as demand for membrane systems and disinfection equipment in these regions will be supported by continued efforts to reduce chemical use by replacing chlorine and other chemicals with water treatment equipment, as well as an ongoing rebound in manufacturing output after the 2009 global recession.

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Worldwide Water Treatment Market Forecast

Increasing standards for process and supply water in manufacturing and other industrial applications in all regions will contribute to strong growth prospects for membrane equipment, according to Freedonia. Membrane equipment demand will also be promoted by greater interest in water reuse, particularly in developed countries, and by the growing market for water desalination equipment, particularly in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Disinfection equipment is also expected to benefit in North America, Western Europe, and other developed areas from the implementation of regulations limiting the levels of disinfection byproducts found in drinking water that has been treated with chemical disinfectants. The market for filtration equipment is relatively mature and faces competition from membrane systems and other newer technologies. As a result, demand for filtration equipment is expected to grow at a more modest pace, with most gains occurring in the municipal markets in developing parts of the world.