One of the largest installations of communicating water meters in Latin America to date is now set to occur in Uruguay. The national water utility, Obras Sanitarias del Estado (OSE), has just awarded a contract to the Israeli smart water meter supplier ARAD for 45,000 communicating positive displacement water meters.
A review of the global smart water meter market, as well as the advancements in smart water in Latin America, is needed to put this contract in perspective. Globally, IHS estimates that 12 million water meter endpoints were automated in 2013, mostly via the installation of a new meter and communications module. Latin America is by far the smallest major region in the world in the adoption of smart water technologies. In fact, the whole of Latin America (including Mexico) in 2013 was estimated at 200 thousand units shipped, or just over 2% of the global total. However IHS forecasts rapid growth and this contract from OSE further highlights this.
By 2018 IHS predicts annual shipments of smart water meters in Latin America to grow to over 500 thousand units per year, (a CAGR of over 25% from 2014 to 2018). Countries in Latin America that are expected to lead the installation of cutting edge water technologies include Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Mexico.
Israeli provider ARAD has also recently acquired the Mexican meter supplier Cicasa in efforts to take advantage of the Mexican market and those of nearby countries in an effort to modernize their water treatment and water delivery infrastructure. Is this the harbinger of further wins for ARAD in Latin America?