Markets for Treating Water Are $224 Billion and Growing At Nearly Twice GDP


The markets for products and services to treat and purify water and fluids are growing at nearly twice the world s GDP growth rate. Some major segments will generate revenues this year of $224 billion. This is the conclusion reached in Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Treatment and Control: World Market published by the McIlvaine Company.

Markets for Treating Water Are $224 Billion and Growing At Nearly Twice GDP

Water Treatment Markets 2014 ($ Billions) (Image: McIlvaine)

Treatment activities can be segmented into expensive treatment of small quantities of liquids and inexpensive treatment of large quantities. An example of a small segment with high treatment costs is the water for injection (WFI) generated by pharmaceutical companies for injectable drugs.

One of the large segments with spectacular growth is ballast water. Ships will be forced to treat 200 billion gallons/yr due to new regulations. All the other water needs for ships are only 2 billion gallons/yr. So the ballast water regulations expand the market by two orders of magnitude in terms of volume to be treated.

The water produced by oil drilling amounts to 360 million gallons per day (mgd). This is several orders of magnitude bigger than the WFI market and represents the equivalent of 2 percent of the world s 16,700 mgd desalination capacity.

The biggest applications for water treatment are power plants. U.S. power plans extract 300,000 mgd. This compares to 30,000 mgd delivered by U.S. municipal drinking water plants.

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