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The most significant challenges facing the U.S. water industry remain aging infrastructure and capital needs, according to the 2014 U.S. Water Industry Outlook by accounting, tax and advisory services firm WeiserMazars LLP. The firm's 2012 Outlook came to the same conclusion.
According to WeiserMazars, 95 percent of study respondents ranked aging facilities and infrastructure as one of the most significant challenges facing the water industry. The aging of management and plant workers is also a major challenge according to survey participants. The Outlook discusses issues ranging from operations to financial results and trends impacting the future of the water industry.
This year’s survey addressed new topics, including pricing, non-revenue water, service quality and opportunities. Participants represent a cross-section of the industry, from operators to investors and technology/equipment solution vendors, with 67 percent coming from private companies, 18 percent from public companies. 86 percent are in company management, with 75 percent in executive positions and 11 percent in middle management.
An analysis of developing trends in the water industry was also new to the 2014 Outlook, covering essential factors in obtaining new and/or renewed contracts, annual revenue, operating costs, access to financing for critical upgrades and the current process of obtaining approvals for change in regulated rates.
“The objective of this year’s Water Industry Outlook was to track the progress of the water industry over the past two years. The significantly larger number of participants gave us a clearer image of the state of the U.S. water industry,” said Jerome Devillers, head of Water Infrastructure/Project Financing. “Seeing the same key challenges cited in both the 2012 and 2014 studies provides a wake-up call that the water industry remains at risk.”