Mazars 2017 U.S. Water Industry Outlook

Mazars USA has released its biennial US Water Industry Outlook for the year 2017. Water is vital to the U.S. economy and forms the backbone of many industries, and many sectors will face major water challenges in the coming years. This study contains information on the key focus areas of global water companies: Innovation, Cybersecurity, Finance and the Future of the Industry.

Innovation

  • Energy is one of the largest contributors to costs incurred by water companies, and is a priority area for innovation as a result
  • Implementing and successfully utilizing energy-efficient technologies will be a key differentiator of company performance
  • Respondents rated energy-efficient advance water treatment technologies as the top innovation bringing in benefits to the water industry, followed by technologies like high-efficiency pumping systems, high-efficiency aeration systems, smart metering, and data analytics

Cybersecurity

  • Cybersecurity is one of the top threats facing both businesses and the national infrastructure
  • More than half of the survey respondents are employed by companies that have prioritized cybersecurity as a significant risk
  • Data privacy systems and IT risk-management strategies are paramount concerns in order to keep pace with evolving cybersecurity threats

Finance

  • Aging infrastructure poses an ongoing challenge in the water industry, and significant capital expenditures are needed to maintain these systems – trends indicate an increase in capital expenditures in this area
  • Access to capital is also a continuous challenge for water companies – however, recent legislation may have positive effects on securing financing solutions
  • Respondents argued that water company reporting standards could be improved to provide more useful insight to investors and customers

Future of the Industry

  • Water resource availability is a major obstacle facing the industry – there are questions over whether companies have properly prepared for these future challenges
  • Respondents appear to have little desire to diversify their water sources, which may force a reduction in water usage in the coming years
  • There is a complex amount of planning required to continue to provide customers with water safely and efficiently, and these needs must be continually balanced by the water industry

Alongside data from a number of participants, the study includes interviews with three industry leaders and a Mazars cybersecurity expert. To gain access to their vital insights, please download the article below.

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