Whenever I talk about emerging water utility trends, I sometimes get a strange feeling that eyes are rolling. This is likely because, to many outside observers, the water utility industry is akin to a dinosaur. While this may be true for some of the smaller municipal water utilities out there, the overall industry is making some decent strides to modernize itself. And this reality is reflected in some of the water utility trends that are expected to predominate in 2018.
2018 Water Utility Trends Around Emergency Preparedness
For a comprehensive discussion of the top 8 water utility trends shaping the industry for 2018, click here. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus only on the 3 trends that are most relevant for emergency planning and preparedness.
- Increased focus on improving water and wastewater infrastructure resiliency: Traditionally, water utilities have lagged behind their electric utility counterparts in terms of emergency preparedness, but with the onslaught of increasingly volatile weather, this is changing by necessity.
- Increased private-sector funding: This goes hand-in-hand with the first trend. Many water operators are struggling financially due to the increased pressure to invest in water infrastructure improvements, and as such they are ripe to be acquired.
- Increased availability of asset management technologies: Now that resiliency is more important than ever, there is greater pressure on water system and wastewater treatment plant operators to improve the efficiency with which they monitor and maintain infrastructure, which has led to an uptick in third-party companies that offer these types of services.
As you can see, although still lagging behind many other industries, water utilities are poised to become increasingly focused on infrastructure, resiliency, and technology in 2018 and beyond. There is little doubt; industry players that fail to explore these water utility trends will be left in the dust – an outcome that clearly would not be to their benefit.