An increasing focus on resiliency and water supply risk is driving investment in water reuse, or reclaimed wastewater solutions. New capacity additions in the U.S. municipal water sector are forecasted to surpass US$21.5 billion from 2017 to 2027, according to a new report from Bluefield Research, U.S. Municipal Water Reuse: Opportunities, Outlook, & Competitive Landscape, 2017-2027.
“Climate volatility, such as the hurricane in Houston and California’s five-year drought, are forcing municipal utilities to seek alternative strategies to de-risk existing water supplies, and water reuse has become key solution in their contingency plans,” says Erin Bonney Casey, Bluefield Research Director. “Just look at the rise in reuse projects in the pipeline. In 2015, Bluefield monitored 247 projects across 11 states. Now we are tracking more than 775 reuse projects across 19 states,” added Ms. Bonney Casey.
At the epicenter of U.S. reuse activity are three states– California, Texas and Florida– which represent 80 percent of planned capacity additions. Even after the rains arrived last year, California utilities demonstrated a paradigm shift by proceeding to move forward with more than 6.0 million m3/d of new reuse supplies, including systems for potable application. Bluefield forecasts 2.2 million m3/d of potable capacity additions over the next decade, across the U.S., mainly in urban centers.