U.S. Water Industry Revenues Rise 3% To $160 Billion


News Release -- San Diego, Calif. -- The U.S. Water Industry grew 3% in 2015, generating $160 billion in revenues, according to Environmental Business Journal, a publication of Environmental Business International Inc.

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Water Instruments & Information Grows Nearly 6%
EBI tracks 10 sub-segments under its definition of the U.S. Water industry. EBJ's latest annual review saw the Water Instruments & Information segment leading growth and expanding revenues by 5.8% to $1.45 billion in 2015.

"Growth is being driven by increasingly comprehensive regulatory controls and the regulation of new contaminants, both of which mean testing and monitoring requirements are continuing to expand," said EBJ Editor-in-Chief Grant Ferrier. "Even in the most highly regulated countries like the United States, water pollution problems continue to grow as new contaminants continue to be unleashed and discovered."

EBJ Ranking of Top Environmental C&E Firms Indicates 3-4% Growth In Water
Water and Wastewater Consulting & Design Engineering was the second fastest growing water segment tracked by EBJ last year, up 3.5%. Environmental consulting and engineering (C&E) firms offer water and wastewater analysis, design, construction-management, compliance, operations & maintenance and other services that added up to revenues of $10.8 billion in the United States in 2015, or 36% of U.S. environmental C&E revenues.

CH2M, Tetra Tech, AECOM, MWH Global, Black & Veatch and HDR led EBJ’s ranking of top environmental C&E firms active in water and wastewater in 2015.

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Mature Water Segments Maintain Steady Growth; Recycling and Reuse Are Robust
The two largest segments in the Water Industry – Wastewater Treatment Works and Water Utilities – together totaled almost two thirds of industry revenues in the form of fees paid to municipal or investor owned utilities for drinking water and sewage treatment services. These mature segments maintained growth of 2-3% in 2015 as rates increases outweighed a modest reduction in water usage in many areas, according to EBJ, which has been tracking the drinking water and wastewater segments since 1988.

Water Recycling and Reuse was identified as one of the most robust sectors in the water business in 2015: "Wa¬ter recycling initiatives, from residences to municipal or industrial installations, are rapidly growing and offer great potential to extend the water resource base," noted Ferrier.

M&A Activity Accelerates in the Water Industry
Growing strategic interest in the global water industry has led to strong merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and consolida¬tion among key U.S. suppliers and vendors.

"Although the intensity of M&A interest dipped during the Great Recession, deal activity and valuation levels have seen a resurgence due to the scale of water problems globally and emerging opportunities for innovative products and solutions; both strategic and financial buyers continue to compete to invest in water equipment and service companies," said Ferrier.

The biggest deal of 2015 was in the Water Equipment segment, represented by Danaher's acquisition of publicly traded Pall Corporation in a deal valued at almost $13 billion.

In the Environmental C&E segment, Stantec's acquisition of MWH Global dramatically shifted Stantec's business mix towards the water and wastewater sector, added smart water software, and increased the company's presence in Asian markets. The transaction was valued at about $800 million.

In the global monitoring and instrumentation market, Honeywell agreed to buy Melrose Industries Plc's Elster unit for about $5 billion.

"With regulatory controls over water and wastewater becoming stronger in almost every region of the world, and public spending on water infrastructure needed on a huge scale, investors are anticipating steady growth ahead for the water industry," Ferrier concluded.

Inside this edition:

Key trends, top company lists and growth forecasts.

Exhibits and data include:

  • The U.S. Water Industry 1993-2016 ($mil)
  • Top U.S. Water Equipment & Chemicals Companies by Revenues
  • Top 80 Water/Wastewater C&E Firms in 2015 ($mil)
  • Universe of U.S. Water Equipment & Chemicals Companies
  • Water/Wastewater in the $30-Billion U.S. Environmental C&E Industry, 2000-2016
  • Top Global Water Utility Companies (bil.)
  • Annual Change in U.S. Wastewater Rates, 2000-2018e
  • Water Rate Increases: 1998-2014
  • Water Resource Withdrawals With and Without Climate Change, 2005-2060
  • Top Water/Wastewater Construction Contractors in 2015 (mil.)

Get revenues and growth rates for all 10 water industry segments
Purchase EBJ U.S. Water Industry 2016 edition for $250

For comment and access to research, contact:
Grant Ferrier, President, EBI Inc.
619-295-7685 ext 15
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