Mazars has the pleasure to launch the 2019 edition of US Water Industry Outlook. In this edition, we continue to provide our perspective on key topics surrounding operations, finance and future trends in water services.
The Outlook is built on a 26-question survey, conducted in 2018, through which we captured the perspectives of different stakeholders, including water and wastewater systems and operations management, procurement and other support for water and wastewater companies, government regulators and the investment community.
We are thankful for the support we received from a well-balanced survey panel composed of 1/3 of top executives; 1/3 of senior managers and middle management and 1/3 other positions. We are also pleased to present some high-profile expert opinions. We hope these forward-thinking visions will help the water industry improve their practices and anticipate their future evolution.
OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY & RISKS
In 2018, the move towards leveraging technology to improve operations continued, smart metering and data analytics will presumably have the most impact on the sector in terms of increasing efficiency and operational cycles. With the rise of technology advancements, a new area of operational risks emerges, with the most significant being cybersecurity. The water industry should implement programs to improve processes and awareness on this critical matter.
“I see two areas where technology can revolutionize the way the industry operates… the first is remote monitoring and management through SCADA and integrated data management systems… The other is smart meter solutions.”
“Cybersecurity threats are not fully understood or appreciated by a number of utilities and, as a result, have not risen to the level of significant investment as they have in other sector.”
Stephane Bouvier CEO inframak
The financing of the water industry is a major recurring topic. We emphasized on several issues such as: how focused industry organisations were on advancing the water agenda in light of major events; increased pressure on infrastructure renewal; how to finance water and infrastructure projects, as well as financial transparency and disclosure throughout reporting.
We emphasized on several issues such as: focused industry organisations and how they’re advancing the water agenda in light of major events.
FUTURE OUTLOOK OF THE WATER INDUSTRY
We refreshed this section for 2019 to showcase trending industry themes including sustainability and enhanced or integrated reporting. We also discussed the application of the most trending technologies to support sustainability goals and turn the biggest challenges into opportunities.
Utilities are reaching the end of life for many of their assets and are facing high capital infrastructure projects against falling revenues and a retiring workforce - they have no choice but to do more with less, all while managing growing public scrutiny. These challenges present an opportunity to quickly transform areas for innovation that lead to achieving improved outcomes cheaper, faster and better than business as usual.
Cristina Ahmadpour President of Isle Inc. at Isle utilites