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Bluefield Research

Total Addressable Market for Water and Wastewater Utilities

Total Addressable Market for Water and Wastewater Utilities

The U.S. water and wastewater landscape is heavily fragmented across 48,587 community water systems (CWSs) serving 313 million people and 23,481 wastewater treatment facilities serving an estimated 267 million people. Small systems serving fewer than 3,300 people make up 78% of these assets, many of which are undercapitalized and incapable of keeping pace with the rising costs of compliance.

While some water sector reformers are pointing to consolidation of the nation’s fragmented utilities as a solution, a gradual utility ownership shift is already underway. From municipalities to investor-owned utilities (IOUs), organizations are evaluating consolidation strategies such as annexation and outright acquisition.

Bluefield’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) analysis sizes this market opportunity and estimates utility ownership of the country’s 183 million customer connections at US$977 billion.

As part of this exercise, our team of water experts has developed a transparent research methodology for identifying water and wastewater utilities and determining key cost-per-connection metrics. Leveraging a range of publicly available and proprietary data—including more than 1,200 water and wastewater utility acquisition deals tracked by Bluefield—this report provides critical benchmarks of current trends, market share, and opportunities by state, system type, system size, and ownership profile.

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