RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. water and wastewater industry is evolving because of evaporating funds, system failure, increased pressure on natural resources, and strict regulations. However, according to FMI, alternate methods of financing, design, and project delivery provide engineering and construction firms with new opportunities.

As the estimated $20 billion shortfall in water and wastewater infrastructure investment gains a foothold at a national level, the industry remains a sleeper. Total U.S. water supply construction put in place has grown from $7.6 billion in 1999 to $16.6 billion in 2009. It is expected to grow to $20.2 billion by 2013. The total U.S. wastewater construction market has more than tripled in size over the last decade, from $3.2 billion in 1999 to $10.3 billion in 2009.

The responsibility is on innovative engineering and construction firms to offer solutions to problems that have dogged the industry, and the legislation that supports it, for years, says FMI. Design-build and construction management at-risk project delivery now represents about 20 to 30 percent of all U.S. water and wastewater projects. FMI expects these numbers to shift toward design-build and other alternative delivery methods as municipalities are forced to find new ways to deliver projects faster, cheaper, and more efficiently to meet stringent consent decrees while operating within limited budgets.

As these fundamental changes revitalize the industry, FMI shares several key recommendations to successful engineering and construction firms to prepare for the approaching inflection point.

The report is available in electronic format from www.fminet.com.