Rising water costs and global efforts toward new water management initiatives

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The White House considers the global water crisis a national security threat as it undermines economic growth, compromises health, and hampers international affairs. To counter this, many federal agencies are collaborating to develop sustainable water supply and improve the quality of water at a global level. Congress has committed to help by allocating more federal funds to improve the water supply infrastructure and its sustainability.

ProcurementIQ, a procurement and purchasing research firm, predicts that the increase in government spending will increase the demand and in turn, raise the price of related products and services. This would have a significant impact on operational costs for multiple stakeholders.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says that the global market for water and wastewater is upwards of $700 billion per year. On one side, there is the increase in water management costs; and on the flip-side, the pressure and investments have given birth to innovative technologies and new initiatives. Rising costs have directly played a role in improved water supply support products and services - treatment products, quality testing equipment, etc.

The private, state and local procurement departments would see a rise in the cost of maintaining water supply infrastructure. This would, unfortunately, be an unintended outcome of the US government’s global water strategy. In fact, the government has increased the budget for improving water safety in other countries. Because of this, ProcurementIQ predicts that water treatment chemicals, quality testing services, water treatment, and planning will be in higher demand and prices will surge dramatically. This would eventually increase business overheads & operational costs across industries.

The average cost of wastewater support markets (2018)

  1. Wastewater & treatment disposal: $2.22 per thousand gallons

  2. Water treatment chemicals: $710.58 per ton

  3. Water quality testing equipment: $445 per device

  4. Water quality testing services: $181 per sample


A major portion of the federal government’s budget for water treatment projects would be reallocated for environmental services. This would help sustain certain initiatives with long-term goals. One example is the Joint Chief’s project. It will focus on improving water by restoring forests and grasslands. The project won’t be devoid of work on improving aqueducts and reservoirs but it will focus on working alongside agricultural producers and forest landowners to improve water as well as local ecosystems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies which have partnered for the project allocated $31.9 million for ongoing and new projects.

The USAID has advanced the global water strategy in light of the ‘water for the world’ act. Federal agencies are prioritizing water hygiene behaviors and cooperation on shared waters, protection and management of freshwater resources, and strengthening financing as well as governance. Agencies are addressing many countries internationally including Afghanistan, Kenya, Haiti, and Jordan.

The lack of quality water and management in many countries creates problems such as civil unrest, economic burdens, diseases, as well as food and energy shortages. Overcoming these problems in many countries would help the U.S. and other nations build toward a stronger future.

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