India Country Market
Insights and Opportunities
Water & Wastewater Treatment Sector
Overview: The total Indian water market is estimated to be over $ 4 billion. While the government sector contributes above 50 percent, the private industrial sector provides the remaining business. The overall market is growing at 10-12 percent every year. The wastewater treatment market segment is highly fragmented and unorganized. Imports constitute approximately $110 million of the $690 million market for municipal and industrial water treatment equipment.
The U.S. is India's principal source of imports of water treatment equipment, with an estimated share of 40 percent. A growing population has increased the demand for drinking water and rapid urbanization has required increasing sewage treatment. Many industries have been forced to adopt water-recycling systems due to the scarcity of water. Growing public concern, media pressure and renewed legislation has left industries with no option but to install water treatment equipment. There is also a compulsory requirement of environmental clearances from pollution control boards at the federal and the state government levels. Also, many existing treatment plants would need to be replaced or upgraded to meet with more stringent standards. The bottled water segment has recently established itself as a significant area of growth with a market size of $280 million and growing at 25-30 percent per year.
Opportunities: India's National Water Policy allocates water use priorities in the following order: drinking, irrigation, hydroelectric power, ecology, agricultural and non-agricultural industries, navigation and other uses. U.S. companies will find the best opportunities in sanitation, urban water supply improvement and municipal waste treatment. Additional opportunities exist in providing consulting and design services to the Indian water industry.
In 2003, the government announced a $100 billion project to interlink all major river networks in India. This initiative would connect water-deficient areas to water-abundant ones by interlinking 37 Indian rivers. One of the largest projects anywhere in the world, it would transfer water through 30 links across 9,600 kilometers. It would connect 32 dams and use 56 million tons of cement and 2 million tons of steel. It would bring with it a huge requirement for water management, transmission and distribution.
India's water transmission and distribution networks are outdated and poorly maintained. The government has recently viewed privatization of these networks as the only option. Water companies from all over the world have established a presence in India to pursue an estimated 70 projects worth several billion dollars in 20 Indian cities spread over several states.
In the area of water treatment, U.S. companies can joint venture with Indian firms to offer integrated solutions in water treatment. These solutions could include performing feasibility studies, designing, technical consulting and providing operation and on-line maintenance services.