Register with Bluefield for immediate, free access
to water market data and analysis.

The Cost of Water: Comparing Alternative and Legacy Water Supplies in the U.S.

06 April 2017
Data Insight

The cost of traditional water supplies — water rights, new transmission, and reservoirs — are on the rise. In response to water shortages, municipalities and utilities are tapping alternative water supplies, some of which are more cost-effective than traditional sources.

In the current water supply landscape in which water rates are expected to rise, wastewater reuse is proving to be cost-competitive against other alternative solutions. Desalination costs have also come down significantly with the introduction of reverse osmosis technology.

In this Data Insight, Bluefield water experts:

  • analyze the impact of water demand on alternative sources
  • compare costs of traditional and alternative water supplies
  • provide an outlook for changes to water supply costs
  • examine costs of transmission, reuse, stormwater, reclaimed water, and desalination

Learn more about our US & Canada Municipal Water Insight Service.


  • A cost convergence is underway between more traditional water supplies (e.g. reservoirs, transfers) and alternative sources (e.g. reuse, desalination).
  • In the current water supply landscape in which water rates are expected to rise, wastewater reuse is proving to be cost competitive against other alternative solutions.
  • The cost of traditional water supplies– water rights, new transmission, reservoirs– are on the rise. In many cases, the most economical siting options have already been utilized.

Related Bluefield Analysis

Municipal Wastewater Reuse in Florida: Market Trends & Emerging Opportunities Installed wastewater reuse capacity in Florida has grown 52% since 2000, reaching 6.6 million m3/d in 2014. These installations place the state at the forefront of US wastewater reuse adoption. Looking forward, Bluefield's analysis of more than 500 existing facilities and another 86 planned faciliti...
U.S. Municipal Wastewater Reuse: Project Pipeline and Market Update 2016 Water scarcity and drought continue to reshape the U.S. water landscape, as demonstrated by the recent increase in wastewater reuse projects in the U.S.  Our analysis of the U.S. wastewater reuse sector demonstrates a total installed capacity of 18.5 million m3/d and US$12 billion of projects in the...
US Municipal Wastewater Reuse: Project Pipeline and Segmentation Analysis, 2017-2030 Water reuse is moving outside of arid and drought-prone areas as a sustainable water supply strategy. For the first time, Hawaii, Georgia, Wyoming, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have water reuse projects in Bluefield's database. California accounts for 48% of planned reuse projects with ...

Read the Press Release


Interested in becoming a client?

Learn more about our services »

Contact us »

Share with colleagues

(Chicago, September 20-October 4)

Water Asset Management Conference
(Boston, Oct 10-11)

27 Jun 2017 Household Water, Sewer Bills Outpace Inflation 3X

23 Jun 2017 Water Needs, Spend to Escalate