The pandemic has had a severe impact on the water industry in Asia and the Pacific but those involved in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater have been particularly hard hit, according to our research.

The disruption that the pandemic caused altered key drivers of the water sector-water demand and wastewater discharge-resulting in an abrupt decline in commercial and industrial water demand and wastewater generation. The decline, in turn, has triggered the need for rapid operational adjustments for the hard-hit service providers.

Revenue decline is the single biggest financial impact to water service providers. In our survey, two-thirds of water supply service providers saw a decrease in commercial and industrial revenues.

Many utilities, have faced a steep decline in financial reserves mainly due to the sharp decrease in commercial and industrial water consumption which wasn't fully offset by the increase in household consumption. Utilities that employ cross-subsidies on water tariffs are expected to be especially hit.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 11 2021, of The Himalayan Times.