Water & Sewer Utilities Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Water & Sewer Utilities Industry Profile

Companies in this industry operate water treatment and water supply systems; sewer systems and sewage treatment facilities; and steam and air-conditioning supply systems. Major companies include American Water, Cal Water, and Essential Utilities (all based in the US), along with Sabesp (Brazil), SUEZ and Veolia (both based in France), and Thames Water (UK).

Though public utilities dominate, competition among private water management companies takes place in major markets in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Global water and wastewater expenditures by utilities and industrial users is expected to grow from $770 billion in 2018 to some $915 billion in 2023, according to Global Water Intelligence. The world's population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and water demand is growing at twice the rate of the global population.

The US commercial water and sewer utilities industry includes about 4,800 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $14.5 billion. The commercial industry is small compared to the water and sewer services operated by many regional and local governments in the US.


Demand depends on commercial and residential water needs, which are related to population growth and to the level of economic activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficiency of operations, because prices are fixed by public utility commissions (PUCs). Large companies have economies of scale in operations and the ability to ...

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