European utilities are planning to invest over $526 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure between 2016 and 2025, according to new forecasts from Bluefield Research.
A combination of drivers including utility market restructuring, water and wastewater directives, and improved efficiency have encouraged cities and public water utilities to resume the most aggressive investment programs Europe has seen since 2007. Bluefield anticipates annual water infrastructure investment to increase 23%, from $46 billion in 2015 to $57 billion in 2025.
Europe will focus its CAPEX investment in two key areas: wastewater and pipes – with 61% of spend allocated to improving wastewater infrastructure and the remaining 39% for water infrastructure. As much as US$256 billion will be dedicated to maintaining and expanding Europe’s 6.7 million kilometers of ageing and leaking pipe networks.
Europe’ highly fragmented municipal water market, with over 61,000 water and wastewater systems serving over 509 million people, has begun consolidating. Led by France, Italy, and the UK, the number of water and wastewater service providers dropped by 16% between 2008 and 2014. Bluefield expects this consolidation trend to continue – bringing much needed economies of scale and unlocking new funding for network improvements.
These findings are found in Bluefield’s new report: Europe Municipal Water Infrastructure: Utility Strategies and CAPEX Forecasts, 2016-2025. Bluefield Research provides data, analysis and insights on global water markets.