Analysis: Global Residential Water Treatment Equipment Market Growing

Globally rising consumer awareness about quality of drinking water is propelling expansion in the residential water treatment equipment market. Consumers are looking for treatment units that offer comprehensive contaminant removal and satisfy in terms of price and aesthetics.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.environment.frost.com), Global Competitive Environment in the Residential Water Treatment Equipment Markets, finds that revenues in this industry exceeded $15 billion in 2005. Billing from Asia alone accounted for 2/3 of the share. Frost & Sullivan estimates that the size of the market will reach $41.53 billion by 2011, officials announced on Jan. 17.

"Out of 550 million urban households, globally penetration of water treatment equipment has been less than 22 percent," said Sunitha Mysore Gopal, Frost & Sullivan program manager & senior industry analyst. "There is a huge demand-supply gap, promising opportunities for everyone active in the residential water treatment equipment market."

Across the globe, every fourth house has a residential water treatment unit. It is estimated that every second household will have a unit by 2008.

To capitalize on these prospects, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and installers are developing strategies that make installation of water treatment equipment a regular household necessity. Apart from this, market participants are spending huge amounts of money in educating consumers about the efficacy of water treatment equipment over similar substitute goods such as bottled water, which are more familiar to the end users.

User education combined with aggressive marketing is likely to step up competition among existing market participants. Although this can boost the sales of equipment, the lack of radical advancement in technology is likely to make price the main differentiator in the residential water treatment equipment' markets.

Larger participants offering products that are manufactured in Asian countries at lower costs further intensify pricing pressures, making it difficult for the smaller participants to compete on price.

"As the end users are price sensitive, cost becomes an important factor in the purchase decision of water purification equipment," Gopal said. "Nonetheless, growing health consciousness and the need to raise the quality of drinking water are set to spur the development of water treatment products."

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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