Based on analyses by leading experts of survey responses by more than 200 stakeholders in the U.S. sphere of water and wastewater, the 2021 Strategic Directions: Water Report examines the complex issues and trends impacting today’s water industry. Aging infrastructure remains a top challenge, along with an aging workforce and intensifying natural disasters – wildfires, floods and drought – that highlight the rising impacts of climate change on the resilience of our water systems and the need for significant investment. The global COVID-19 pandemic compounded the pressure on utilities to be resilient in their services and make the sorely needed investment in supply, treatment, conveyance and storage facilities.
Utilities will need to unleash the value of exploiting data in their operations by using analytics and other technologies to drive better decision-making to optimize and prioritize system investments and drive cost efficiencies. This year’s report dives into these issues and many more, bringing into focus the industry’s opportunity to accelerate innovation in strategy, operations and funding.