The market for smart water metering is expected to grow due to development in North American and European markets—both regions where water utilities are increasingly pursuing potential uses of data and analytics. This is according to new analysis by Frost & Sullivan, which finds that the smart water meter market earned revenues of $3.48 billion in 2013 and estimates the market to reach $5.18 billion in 2017. The study covers smart water meters, installation services, and meter data management services.

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“Smart water metering is a global trend driven by key factors: reducing non-revenue water, increasing sustainable and reliable billing, improving water service reliability, and the need for higher optimization and control,” said Frost & Sullivan Energy and Environment Industry Analyst, Seth Cutler. “The understanding that data is the lynchpin spurring these agendas forward will fuel investments in the market over the forecast period.”

Since smart water metering is a fundamentally different way of managing municipal water supply, the current state of product knowledge is still expanding and not authoritative enough to quell utility skepticism on its benefits, according to Frost. The lack of in-depth knowledge on technology and vendor choices, project implementation best practice, and business case development is tempering adoption somewhat.

Without strong government mandates, end-users in this traditionally conservative industry require time to evaluate potential risks and gain confidence in the technology. Moreover, the levels of market awareness vary by region and country.

For more information on this research from Frost & Sullivan, go here.