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Insights 5 surprising facts you should know about America's water market

Water is one of the most important industries in the world as it holds the key to our entire future. With growing populations and demand for resources far outweighing supply, it has never been more important to place great emphasis and focus on our water markets. In the US, water supply and infrastructure have been a talking point for a number of years and now we are seeing some of the biggest changes to the market in recent history.

At AtkinsRéalis , and within our brands Atkins and Faithful+Gould, our water professionals are skilled at finding solutions to both current and future issues. They work with sustainability at the forefront of their minds, understanding that what we deliver not only serves our clients, but most importantly provides a better way of life for society as a whole. Here, we highlight five surprising facts you should know about America’s water market.

Americans use more water than any other nation

In the last few years, America has become the leading consumer of water in the world, taking over China and India in the process. The United States consumes 322 billion gallons of water a year, and the majority of the water consumption is a result of thermoelectric power and irrigation purposes. The next biggest category is personal consumption, which is responsible for the usage of 39 billion gallons of water per year.

Green infrastructure is on the horizon

Green infrastructure is a key aspect of the United States’ drive for sustainable water production. It consists of a range of water management practices, such as vegetated rooftops, absorbent gardens, and other measures that can reduce the impact of stormwater.

Green infrastructure reduces the amount of flooding that storms cause and cuts the polluted runoff that reaches our water supplies. This fantastic process is key to sustainability as it uses natural elements such as soil and plants to turn rainfall into a resource instead of a waste. It also drastically improves the quality of local water supplies and offers a host of environmental, economic, social, and health benefits. Many companies are now investing heavily into green water infrastructure to make it a staple in America’s future.

Water quality is at an all-time high

The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world and the strict regulations in place mean that it is set to improve in the coming years. The majority of Americans, over 90%, have access to community water systems that supply their fresh water. These systems are subject to quality standards that must be met each year. Although drinking water quality varies from place to place, it must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

A range of water projects have sprung up over the last decade, dedicated to improving American water supplies. For example, AtkinsRéalis led a bacteria management plan in Sycamore Creek, designed to control the risk of bacteria growth and ultimately improve water supplies. Similar projects are being implemented across the whole country which has resulted in a drastic improvement in water quality in all states.

Water engineers are in high demand

As a result of climate change, some parts of the US are now experiencing shortages of water, sparking a drastic need for quick solutions. Traditional methods, such as expanding reservoirs are proving to be less effective as time goes on, and Harvard University estimate that by the year 2071, almost half of the freshwater basins in the US may not be able to meet demands.

This has accelerated the demand for innovative structural and civil engineers to help provide fresh solutions for wilting infrastructure. Engineers are responsible for the future of the US water market and will need to implement a new wave of sustainable thinking to ensure pressure on vital infrastructure is reduced.

Investment in the industry is on the rise

The requirement for investment in water and wastewater infrastructure is has been widely publicized and plans to implement changes that will address it are gaining momentum. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 included over $55 billion in funding for the improvement and restoration of water facilities in the United States.

Increased funding is vital to addressing issues within the water industry; however, the investment must be directed toward well-executed projects that improve outcomes for all states equally. Companies throughout the water market are now prepared to meet these challenges head-on and use the investment to improve water quality, access, and infrastructure.

Find your next water job with AtkinsRéalis

At AtkinsRéalis , we are passionate about our projects that focus on protecting water resources, designing water plants, and more. We promote sustainability throughout all aspects of our business to ensure we have a positive impact on the planet.

We’re looking for innovative professionals in the United States to help us create a better environment for all. Browse our range of water jobs, including water engineer roles and project manager jobs or sign up for our job alerts so you’ll never miss an opportunity.