World demand for water treatment products is projected to increase 5.7 percent per year to $59 billion in 2013, well above the rate of economic growth in essentially every region, according to a report by Freedonia Group (www.freedoniagroup.com). Large, yet still developing markets, such as China and India are expected to register the fastest growth, driven by continued industrial expansion and concerted efforts to expand access to safe water supplies and adequate sanitation facilities, particularly in rural areas. In more developed markets, Freedonia predicts advances will also be fairly strong due to initiatives that focus on improving drinking water quality, reducing wastewater discharge and increasing wastewater treatment and reutilization rates.

WORLD WATER TREATMENT PRODUCT DEMAND


(million dollars)

% Annual Growth

Item

2003

2008

2013

03-08

08-13

Water Treatment Product Demand

30465

44550

58650

7.9

5.7

North America

12775

17260

21400

6.2

4.4

Western Europe

7395

9750

11420

5.7

3.2

Asia/Pacific:

6270

10270

14810

10.4

7.6

China

1185

2967

5390

20.1

12.7

Japan

2615

3335

3800

5.0

2.6

Other Asia/Pacific

2470

3968

5620

9.9

7.2

Other Regions

4025

7270

11020

12.6

8.7

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.

While the recent economic downturn will result in some deceleration of market growth from the very strong advances posted in the 2003-2008 period, prospects in most regions will remain substantial, according to Freedonia.



However, Freedonia says the reasons underlying the continuing expansion of the water treatment products market around the world vary immensely between regions. In the most developed markets — the US, Canada, Japan and most of Western Europe — gains will result from efforts to increase water reuse rates, improve the aesthetic quality of drinking water and further reduce the chances of water contamination. Such efforts will boost demand for products such as advanced membrane systems, disinfection equipment and specialty chemicals used in industrial wastewater treatment. Meanwhile, in the least developed parts of Asia and Africa, market gains will be among the fastest in the world, but even spectacular growth will leave several hundred million people without access to safe water or even minimal sanitation facilities In the large Middle Eastern market, gains will be prompted by continued expansion of desalination capacity in the region, not only in the “textbook case” desalination leaders Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, but also in countries such as Algeria, Israel and Libya. The expansion of desalination will boost demand for evaporators and membrane systems, but will limit opportunities for chemicals and other water treatment products that are not used as much for desalinated water, which usually has very low levels of dissolved solids.