Canadians have renewed their focus on the environment in recent years. The water industry has become a top priority for the nation, which has led to the development of new and effective solutions that have promoted water technologies. To reach the goals set forth for the industry, an estimated $31 billion in new investments is required.
Over 350 different water and wastewater projects are currently on hold because there are not enough funds available to start them. That figure is in addition to the approximately 300 water sector projects which are funded each year – and that rate grows at 4% annually.
The Canadian water industry is also growing because the country has one of the highest domestic consumption rates in the world today. 75% of the municipalities in the country have experienced a water shortage or drought in recent years. In Montreal, 40% of the water from the waterworks will not reach an end user.
The average lifespan of a wastewater treatment plant for the industry is 18 years. 63% of facilities have already exceeded their useful life.
Interesting Canadian Water Industry Statistics
#1. Canada is the 8th-largest water market in the world, generating $35 billion in GDP in 2015. (Global Water Intelligence)
#2. 79% of the water and wastewater technology companies in Canada are classified as exporters. Their combined revenues in 2015 reached $1 billion. (Trade Commissioner Service)
#3. 42% of the represented exports for the Canadian water industry are destined for the United States, representing $270 million in value. (Trade Commissioner Service)
#4. The Canadian government funds over 150 research chairs with water as part of their focus, while also supporting 100+ water-related institutions and facilities which support applied research, testing, and demonstration. (Trade Commissioner Service)
#5. Over 300 firms in Canada either have proprietary water technologies or are developing them. (Trade Commissioner Service)
#6. More than 30% of the electricity consumption which occurs in Canada is directly connected to how water is distributed throughout the country. (Dutch Trade Commission)
#7. Over 22,000 employees are working with the Canadian water industry right now in Ontario, which is also the home to one-third of the research chairs that are dedicated to water. (Invest in Ontario)
#8. More than $14 billion is spent on research and development projects for the Canadian water industry within the province of Ontario, which has 100 technology incubators working on industry projects right now. (Invest in Ontario)
#9. Drinking water and wastewater companies account for 75% of the research and development that occurs within the water sector. More than half of the R&D spent by business activities focuses on technologies, products, or services. (Invest in Ontario)
#10. 70% of Canadians who say that they purchased water are doing so to avoid purchasing another packaged beverage, such as a carbonated soft drink, juice, milk, sports drink, or energy drink. (Canadian Bottled Water Association)
#11. Spring water and ground water represent 95% of the bottled water products which are sold in Canada. It is a regulated food product, which means it cannot be modified from its natural state. The remainder of the bottled water comes from municipal sources. (Canadian Bottled Water Association)
#12. 70% of plastic beverage containers that are used by the Canadian water industry are recycled each year. Bottled water packaging accounts for 40% of the total plastic beverage container packaging in the country. (Canadian Bottled Water Association)
#13. Plastic beverage containers account of 0.2% of the waste that occurs in Canada’s current waste stream. PET and polycarbonate plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, with larger bottles being able to see up to 60 reuses before needing to be recycled. (Canadian Bottled Water Association)
#14. The bottled water industry in Canada takes less than 0.02% of the available fresh water which could be taken in the country. (Environment Canada)
#15. Only 1% of tap water in Canada is used for human consumption Bottled water costs $0.34 cents per liter, which equates to $0.17 per 500ml bottle. (Canadian Bottled Water Association)
#16. 49% of households in Canada say that they did not treat their primary water source prior to consuming it. For those who did treat their water, 44% used either a purifier or a filter at home. (Statistics Canada)
#17. 10% of households in Canada received at least one boil water advisory from their local government in the past 12 months. (Statistics Canada)
#18. 60% of households in Canada have installed a low-flow shower head as a way to conserve water. Another 50% have installed a low-volume toilet. Only 1 in 5 homes is using a barrel or cistern as a way to reduce water consumption. (Statistics Canada)
#19. Newfoundland and Labrador consume the most potable water residentially per capita in Canada, at 628 liters. The national average is 223 liters. The largest overall increase in water consumption comes from Nunavut, however, as potable water consumption increased by 33%. (Statistics Canada)
Canadian Water Industry Trends and Analysis
Despite the many gains experienced by the Canadian water industry over the years, there is still a lot of work to do. Employees within the industry, when asked to rate it on a scale from 1 to 7, gave the industry an overall score of 4.3.
Total household water use is increasing, reaching more than 37.8 billion cubic meters per year. Many industries are using water at levels that were unheard of in past years. The mining sector, for example, has seen a 29% increase in the amount of water consumed. Waste management and remediation is using 32% more water. Households in Canada, however, are using 7.6% less water than in previous years.
Only household use of water has decreased. That push for more commercial and industrial water has helped the industry to grow, but it has also put a strain on personal use. That is why so much of the available water in municipalities does not reach the end user.
At the same time the number of households drinking primarily bottled water is rapidly declining. In 2007, 30% of households said that they drink bottled water as their first option. In 2015, that figure dropped to 19%. In British Columbia, that figure has dropped to 10%, which is equal to the rates found on Prince Edward Island.
The water industry in Canada needs innovation to keep up with industrial and commercial demand. If it receives the investments it deems to be necessary, then expect continued growth to occur. If not, the industry patterns will continue to follow the trends of the statistics found here.
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