Increasing Water Scarcity and Need for Environmental Sustainability Drives Innovations in Water Production Technologies, Finds Frost & Sullivan

Renewable energy-based developments will be vital to address the challenges in the water-energy-food nexus

Feb 16, 2016, 23:21 ET from Frost & Sullivan

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The intensifying difficulties in obtaining clean water have stoked a plethora of innovations in water production technologies. As countries that until recently enjoyed abundant water supply are waking up to the reality of water scarcity, there has been an accelerated movement towards enhancing wastewater reuse and eventually, the development of advanced recycling technologies. The trend of water reuse is gathering momentum, especially in Europe, where industries reuse their wastewater even as process water to lower costs and circumvent the risk of water scarcity.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Innovations in Water Production and Its Impact on Key Sectors (, finds that advancements in technologies, chemicals and processes are addressing the three most difficult challenges in water production:

  • the removal of nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus compounds in open body water sources
  • sustainable desalination
  • the removal of emerging chemical compounds from drinking water

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The water production space as a whole is shifting toward renewable energy-based solutions to resolve the issue of water-energy shortage. In particular, there will be an increase in the uptake of membrane filtration and anaerobic-aerobic technologies, including portable and/or solar-based water filtration systems. Electrochemical technologies, which leverage the electrolytic nature of produced water in unconventional oil and gas mining, are expected to become prominent in the energy sector in the future.

"In agriculture, most water production technologies are aimed at wastewater treatment for reuse, desalination and deposit control," said TechVision Senior Industry Analyst Jennifer Tan. "Water quality monitoring software and apps are also emerging as vital components of agricultural water production in tandem with smart farming or precision agriculture."

While next-generation systems are understandably more relevant in applications where wastewater reuse is necessary, there is little incentive for their use in place of existing technologies that already meet discharge limits at lower costs. Public perception that treated wastewater is inferior to municipal drinking water is another reason for lack of wastewater recycling for potable reuse, particularly in the food and beverage sector.

Therefore, the challenge for technology developers is twofold: bringing novel technologies to the market, and raising awareness regarding their benefits. Incremental advancements in lower-cost technologies are more easily accepted and adopted.

"On the other hand, efforts to avail clean water to poor and isolated communities have seen the rise of innovations beyond technological solutions that bode well for technology development," Tan observed. "The deployment of business models, programs, partnerships, water governance forms suited to a particular end-user market not only ensures successful and sustainable water production for the poor, but can also increase acceptance of new technologies in the long run."

Innovations in Water Production and Its Impact on Key Sectors, a part of the TechVision ( subscription, offers a detailed account of innovations in water production that specifically impact key sectors. It outlines the current water scenario, innovation landscape, global trends and technology roadmap till 2025 for each sector. It also offers several examples of innovative non-technological ways to produce or provide water as well as key patents and contact details of key industry players.

Frost & Sullivan's global TechVision practice is focused on innovation, disruption and convergence and provides a variety of technology-based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision program, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision program is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth. View a summary of our TechVision program by clicking on the following link:

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Innovations in Water Production and Its Impact on Key Sectors

Chiara Carella
Corporate Communications – Europe
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan