Blog  /  July 2018  /  Pumps and Valves – Who needs ‘sexy’?!

Blog Post Teaser

Pumps and valves are 'not very sexy', you say; well... who needs 'sexy' when you can save money, save energy, save the environment, AND create jobs?!


WATER EFFICIENCY is critical to the sustainability of a water systems’ development and management.  Some water utilities estimate that they are only billing for 50% (or less) of the water that they treat and pump to distribution.  Some studies estimate that up to 5.9 billion gallons of non-revenue water loss occurs daily across the US.  The right tools, materials, and systems support a reduction of water loss.  Flow management and leak reduction saves a great deal of water every year.  Without efficiency, you’re operating at a loss.  It’s that simple.  It’s basic.  It’s…boring?  Hardly.


THINK:  Robotics, automation, GIS, analytics, advanced materials, 3D manufacturing – they all apply to pumps and valves.  For instance, the automation of pumps and valves can control devices associated with difficult-to-access infrastructure, significantly decrease overhead associated with labor costs, reduce safety risks, and improve operating efficiency.  That is, IF someone is willing to think creatively about pumps and valves.  (And by the way, companies would appreciate some ‘thinking’ around pumps and valves, thank you very much!  Cost Savings – check!)


Efficiency Reduces Power Use.  Period.  So, for those wanting to contribute to the reduction of energy use in the world, you might start with pumps and valves.  90% of all pumps today work ineffectively.  If we switched them to energy-efficient pumps, we’d save the equivalent of the residential energy consumption of 1 billion people.  


Pumps and Valves Save Water.  The US water pumps market reached $6.11 billion in 2016 and, by some estimates, is expected to grow to reach $9.47 billion by 2026.  Water pumps are generally reviewed under four categories based upon application:  industrial, municipal, agricultural, and domestic.  Centrifugal water pumps hold the majority of the market share and continued and growing use of these pumps – primarily in the oil and gas field and in municipalities – means a steady growth rate throughout the market.  An innovation opportunity.  A job creator.


Intelligent and automated systems in any industry are reliant upon human innovation and management.  The sophistication of technology is supporting the workforce, increasing safety, and enhancing security.  Again, attributes critically important in our water systems.  The demand for consumer and industrial water will continue, growing the water industry and the need for innovation at all points in the water management system.


CAUTION:  Growth spurts can lead to a degradation of the market, and more importantly, the product itself.  Keeping up with demand can overtake the NEED for quality – quality being critically important in the municipal water systems.  One more reason to focus on pumps and valves.


Innovation and technology applied to water pumps and valves will lead to more efficiency, and thus, water and energy savings throughout our water systems.  Product innovation and development in these two key components of water management and water systems will also ensure reliable and safe water.


Who needs, ‘sexy’; I’m looking for reliable.


Walnut Ridge Group is a market research and strategy advisory firm based in Dallas, TX.