The global market for water treatment chemicals and equipment will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% between 2013 and 2018, according to the latest industry report from Transparency Market Research (TMR). If that prognosis turns out to be right, the value of the market will rise to $149.9 billion by the end of the forecast period.

From a geographical perspective North America is the biggest market, with Europe ranking at number two. However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to deliver the fastest growth in the next few years, snatching the top spot from North America by 2018.

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According to TMR, the Asia-Pacific market will expand by 5.1% annually over that period, driven primarily by robust spending in India, China and Thailand. In contrast, growth in the United States and Europe will be held back by high saturation levels and significant entry barriers. Europe is the region where market players face the toughest standards for wastewater treatment and drinking water quality.

With regard to products, TMR segments the market into three major categories: pumping systems, chemicals and membrane systems. The membrane systems segment is projected to grow by 9.6% annually through 2018. In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, demand for chemicals went on a downward trajectory and the trend persisted until the start of 2010. However, TMR expects this segment to return to its pre-crisis growth levels by the end of this year.