Wastewater treatment involves numerous biological, and chemical process where wastewater that contains contaminants are purified after the removal of the pollutants and the effluent obtained after the purification is cycled back to nature. Although treatment of wastewater normally takes place in a wastewater treatment plant or sewage treatment plant, the capacity, as well as technical capability of the facility varies according to the origin of the wastewater. For instance, wastewater that originates from industries is treated in industrial wastewater treatment plants that are employed with advanced chemical, biological and mechanical pieces of equipment and technologies. Some of the most common classifications of wastewater treatment plants include phase separation, biological and chemical separation, polishing, among others.
Since the demand for freshwater is growing exponentially day by day, water treatment or recycling has become a necessity, particularly since urbanization is gaining a stronger pace in emerging economies. As water is an important commodity for human survival and demand for the respective product is expanding. Recycling contaminated water has become of paramount importance. As a result, the global wastewater treatment market is gaining popularity and widespread acceptance across various nooks and crannies of the globe.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON GLOBAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT MARKET
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many a market across the globe and inflicted the global economy with one of the toughest crises after World War II, certain markets benefited from the pandemic from moderate to an extensive scale. The global wastewater treatment market is one such market that gained an additional market push due to the pandemic. Since SARS-CoV-2 viruses are capable of being transferred through water, large-scale treatment of water across cities, municipalities have become extremely important to curtail the spread of the virus. Similarly, the need for proper and advanced wastewater treatment in hospitals has become a major priority for governments as well authorities to contain the secondary spread of the virus. As a result, decentralized wastewater treatment plants with multiple disinfection barriers in quarantine centers, isolation wards, among others are gaining popularity across the post-COVID-19 world.
In short, due to the growing demand for clean water for various industrial and human indispensabilities, the overall demand for water treatment has been growing exponentially over the years. Further, the spread of COVID-19 boosted the necessity for proper wastewater treatment in varied segments as the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of transferring through water sources.
However, due to various restrictions in economic developments and investments such as supply disruptions, and emergency measures implemented by the government, the scale of development in the global wastewater treatment market is lackadaisical.
AFTERMATH OF COVID-19 AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO BOOST THE MARKET
To minimize the damage caused by the pandemic COVID-19 across the globe, various governments are implementing various measures. However, several such initiatives are boosting the demand as well as sales of the global wastewater treatment market.
· After a considerable scientific exploration into the pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the pandemic, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage treatment plants was confirmed. As a result, the executive secretary of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention (BRS) argued for the importance of wastewater management, particularly from the medical, household, among others, and named it as an essential public service to ensure minimal impacts on human and environment in the battle with COVID-19.
Such governmental safety measures could spread awareness regarding wastewater treatment and could boost the pace associated with the growth of the global wastewater treatment market. Nonetheless, the pace of growth is still significantly primitive due to various socio-economic limitations associated with various parts of the world.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE
Manufacturers in the global wastewater treatment market experienced several adversities due to obstructions in the production facilities. Manufacturers have taken many strategic decisions such as collaboration and partnerships for the development of efficient technologies and for increasing production rate to meet the market demand once it returns to normal. Utilizing e-commerce and the establishment of local supply chains are also some of the new strategies used by various manufacturers to counter the effects of COVID-19. Moreover, several industries have enhanced information transparency among each other and are working together to help each other to overcome the financial constraints experienced and to increase cash flow into the business.
The price of water treatment equipment and accessories is expected to fluctuate due to an expected disturbance caused by the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Such market fluctuations have prompted manufacturers to find new contract manufacturers and suppliers to shift production operations along with new contracts for the supply of raw materials.
Due to an increase in production cost and reduction in profit margins due to the shortage in raw materials, components, and difficulties in the commercialization of products, many a manufacturer is increasing prices of their products.
· In June 2021, Ecolab Inc., a global leader in water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services, has announced that a pricing hike of 9% and 15% will be introduced to the company’s industrial segment products effective immediately or as contracts permit due to an escalation of energy and raw material costs, limited availability of raw materials and rising transportation, packaging, utility and personnel costs
IMPACT ON DEMAND
COVID-19 has induced a multi-layered crisis comprising domestic price fluctuations, the overall decline of external demand, along the collapse of prices that have an impact on supply and demand for goods. The impact of this could be contemplated across the globe irrespective of the market. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect and sector as COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation across the world. However, several manufacturers in the global water treatment market have been utilizing this opportunity to launch new products and to address the demand created by the global discovery that the SARS-COV-2 virus is capable of transiting through wastewater.
· Suez Group introduced monitors the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater networks, capable of detecting the British variant, among others. This system manufactured by the Suez Group is currently being used in around 100 local communities in Spain, utilized by around 13 million inhabitants. Similarly, the same system is employed in100 local communities in France, with 1.8 million inhabitants. The same water treatment system is also utilized in the UK, the US, and Latin America.
In short, it is appropriate to conclude that the pandemic, COVID-19 has boosted the overall demand for wastewater treatment plants and equipment across the globe. Nevertheless, the extent of the respective demand growth is relatively limited.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and its subsequent impact on restrictions on trade and movement of goods has resulted in a shutdown of vast portions of the global economy. This has in turn disrupted supply chains of the global wastewater treatment market due to the limited availability of materials and workforce. Further, due to the lockdown scenario, and restrictions in international trade, several manufacturers are also facing difficulties in clearing their old stocks. As a result, it could be conclusive to say that overall of the supply chain of the global wastewater treatment market is affected horrendously by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the governmental measures to unlock economies and global trade in recent months could be considered as a sign of shimmering hope for the global wastewater treatment market.
To recapitulate, although COVID-19 has caused a major disruption to many global economies, the pandemic has slightly boosted the demand in the global wastewater treatment market due to the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that is responsible for the pandemic could spread through savage water. The governmental regulations and initiatives regarding the urgency to curtail the pandemic also have been helping the respective market to grow. However, due to disruptions in supply chains of final products as well as raw materials, the global wastewater market is unable to tap into the demand and sales growth provided by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a large-scale price increase is witnessed in products associated with the respective market. When combining and considering all these factors, it could be concluded that though, the pandemic COVID-19 has been difficult for the global wastewater market, lackadaisical progress could be witnessed for the respective market in terms of demand and sales. However, the respective market is capable of fully unleashing its potential and make excellent economic growth once the current disruptions in supply chains and manufacturing have been retracted.
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