Water services have a strong history of public ownership and union jobs. However, the increasing strain of infrastructure renewal needed alongside tight financial operating conditions makes outsourcing an increasingly necessary compromise for many water utilities.
Environmental regulation and the need for compliance are key drivers and are set to help the market grow. This is because outsourcing can be an efficient way to meet targets while limiting the investment need and passing the compliance burden to a business partner.
External partners are often now required to handle more complex requests from municipalities. The expanding demand on outsourcing partners now often includes areas in asset management, planning, and forecasting as opposed to more simple design and build contracts only.
Additionally, private outsourcing partners can be a reliable source of qualified experts to help manage and operate equipment, while municipalities themselves see an ageing workforce that is harder to replace.
The market does, however, see restraints such as the above-mentioned resistance to privatization efforts.
Private companies are bidding in a low margin environment, and this reduces interest from a wider array of market participants, especially smaller companies that are unable to handle larger, more complex projects that require greater capabilities.
Municipalities are also in a better cash position than they were previously in the global recession. This has eased the pressure to invest in cost-effective, though sometimes controversial, outsourcing agreements.
This study leverages insights from market stakeholders (outsourcing partners, industry organizations, and utilities) and secondary data to forecast market development through 2022.
Multiple outsourcing contract types are segmented and reviewed including private public partnerships: design, bid, and build; operations and maintenance; design and build; design, build, and additional services; and concessions.
Key questions this study will answer include:
- How is the North American municipal water and wastewater outsourcing market performing and what are its future prospects?
- What is driving and restraining the market at the moment and what are the key challenges for the market going forward?
- How is the market structured and where do specific opportunities exist within it?
- What are the key trends with regards to services offered by municipal partners?
- What is the competitive situation within the market, who are the main participants, and how have they achieved this position?
- What is the market’s current competitive structure, and how may this change over time?