2014 Water Industry Report

2014 Strategic Directions: U.S. ​Water Industry

Welcome to the 2014 Black & Veatch Strategic Directions: U.S. Water Industry report. Our third annual report for the water industry provides essential information for overcoming challenges associated with limited budgets, rising costs, aging infrastructure and the need for critical water systems to have greater resiliency against new weather norms.

As we reviewed survey results and prepared this analysis, two common themes emerged. First and foremost, the industry is in dire need of solutions that bridge the significant gaps associated with utility budgets, resiliency, capital improvement programs, customer education and rates.

The second theme focuses on efficiency for all aspects of water system management and operations, including energy use, water use, capital spending and business process enhancements. This theme was first noted in our 2013 report, where more than 90 percent of industry leaders stated they are adopting/implementing or planning to adopt/implement best practice asset management programs.

New to this year’s report are regional viewpoints and analysis. While aging infrastructure remains the top industry-wide issue, each region has its own unique challenges that are intensified as a result of degrading buried infrastructure systems. Our regional perspectives provide potential solutions for noted challenges based on the viewpoints of Black & Veatch subject matter experts living and working within each region.

Bridging existing gaps within the industry, generating efficiencies and building greater resiliency are the hallmarks of the next-generation water utility. Achieving each of these requires new thinking about how we generate revenue; how we plan and finance capital improvements; and how we manage the day-to-day operations of our systems. This report provides recommendations and highlights best practices that can help utilities achieve their strategic goals. We welcome your questions and comments regarding this report and/or Black & Veatch services. You can reach us at MediaInfo@bv.com.