Global Market Outlook on Water Procurement

Water can be sourced in multiple ways as provided below. Best practices in water management, such as recycling, water efficiency monitoring, etc., either optimize the current water usage or improve the water availability.

Cost-Saving Opportunities

The UK has the highest cost-saving opportunities, due to the deregulation of market and potential to switch suppliers

Water Abstraction License

Industries can apply for water abstraction license for self-supply. However, the stringent environmental regulations could make this difficult in the future

Water Supplier Scenario: UK

The UK water market is characterized by the presence of water companies under private ownership. Suppliers are typically water only companies or water and waste water companies.

  • In the UK (except in Scotland and Northern Ireland), private suppliers are responsible for water supply to the public
  • The companies either supply only water or they offer water and wastewater treatment services
  • Affinity water is the largest water only company in the UK. Thames water is the largest water and waste water company in the UK
  • Northern Ireland Water is the sole water supplier in Northern Ireland
  • In Scotland, Scottish Water is responsible for water supply. Both Scottish Water and Northern Ireland Water are owned by the respective government

Water Supplier Scenario: Germany

German water market is highly fragmented with a large number of small-scale suppliers. Suppliers are mostly government owned.

  • Large number of small utilities supply a relatively small number of inhabitants in rural areas
  • In contrast, a small number of utilities usually supply a large number of inhabitants in urban conurbations. Half of the water output is therefore supplied by approximately 100 utilities (less than 2 percent of the utilities

Water Supplier Scenario: US

Majority of the water supply is through cities, municipalities, water districts, etc.

  • American water is the largest investor-owned (publically traded) water and wastewater service company in the US. Aqua America Inc. and American States Water company are among the top three water companies in the US
  • EPA has classified public water system into three types - Community Water System: Supplies water to the same population year-round
  • Non-transient non-community water system: Regularly supplies water to at least 25 of the same people at least six months per year, but not year-round
  • Transient non-community water system: Provides water in a place such as a gas station or campground where people do not remain for long period

Water Supplier and Risks Scenario: South Africa

South Africa is a water-stressed country, due to low rain and increase in water withdrawal. The country was affected with drought in several parts in 2017.

  • South Africa has high water stress, indicating requirement of sustainable practice
  • The country water stress for South Africa is projected to reach 3.19 by 2040, indicating only a marginal increase in the water stress in the country
  • Although the overall drought severity risk is moderate in the country, drought incidents are on an increasing trend in the country in some of the parts
  • Decrease in rain, illegal water connections, etc. affect water supply in South Africa. Water usage is restricted in Cape during water scarcity

Water Supplier and Risks Scenario: Egypt

Salt water flow to the Nile river and Dam construction in Ethiopia are the key risks affecting the Nile water source in the country.In Egypt, the water supply companies are mostly under HCWW. The private participation is mainly in water and waste water treatment.

Risks and Mitigation measures

  • Egypt depends on the Nile river for the majority its water usage. Salt water from sea, due to the rising sea levels pose threat the Nile water
  • The dam constriction in Ethiopia could also affect the water flow to Egypt, impacting the water availability in the country
  • Egypt Utilities Management and North Sinai Initiative are initiated to improve the water supply and sanitation in the country