Tech Trends

Tech Trends is a tool that identifies trends around the deployment of innovative technologies across the water sector, including wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, desalination, and water reuse facilities. 

Since 2017, over 100 respondents completed the survey, representing many of the largest water and wastewater utilities in North America and abroad. The tool allows users to look at the aggregated (non-facility specific) data and analyze this data based on facility type, size, location, technology, and year. The newly added historical data allows users to see if certain innovations are tracking faster, slower, or as expected from the previous year’s survey. 

By logging in to this website, WRF utility subscribers can drill deeper and see full survey results, including utility-specific information for the purposes of peer-to-peer networking, information sharing, and collaboration.

The tool has been updated with 2020 survey responses.

Please Note: Additional information is available to current WRF subscribers, but you must login to access this content. LOGIN NOW

Using the Tool

  1. Select the water facility type that you are interested in: Wastewater, Stormwater, Drinking Water, Water Reuse, or Desalination.
  2. Select the technology category(s) of interest. if available.
  3. Select the specific technology(s) of interest to see. Note: there are only twelve distinct line colors.
  4. Select the geographic region(s) of interest. Note: by default all regions are selected, select/deselect sections of the map by clicking on them.
  5. Select the facility sizes of interest.
  6. Select the base survey year(s) of interest. The implemented line tracks the actual number of implementations from that survey year and connects between different year’s data sets. The implemented line may trend down because not all respondents completed the survey in successive years.

Utility Subscriber Instructions

The following functionality is available to utility-subscribers only:

  1. Select the facility specific filters of interest (flow, location, etc.)
  2. Click on the specific technology line of interest to get names/contacts of utilities with the technology’s current or projected future implementation. Note: you can also click on the specific technology title in number three.
  3. Select a specific utility to see the names of different technologies with their current or projected future implementation.


If you have questions about this tool or the survey, please contact us

Additional Information

  • Tool Notes

    In looking at the data, there are two key elements of a single line to keep in mind: 

    1. The height of a line shows the % of facility respondents that have or will have deployed a technology at a given time point (e.g., in the next 2 yrs.); and
    2. The slope of a line shows how quickly the technology moves from being first-of-a-kind to the leading edge, and ultimately to standard practice.

    Stormwater data is intentionally different from other facility types, as survey respondents were not required to provide the time of implementation for specific technologies.  

    The final time point, “unspecified”, represents an indeterminate timing, it does not necessarily represent a time point after ten years. Each utility’s responses were recorded as a single entry. It is assumed that over the time period shown no technology is removed so all counts are cumulative.

    At the final time point, if only 60% of respondents indicated that they will have deployed a given technology, that means the remaining 40% indicated that the technology was neither of interest nor applicable to their facility.

    For the detailed analysis: if you are looking at a facility, you will see all technologies, not just those selected (i.e., the technology filters are not active). If you are looking at technology, the facility size and geography filters are still active.

  • Technology Report

    LIFT and BlueTech Research partnered on the development of a market insight report analyzing wastewater data from the 2017 LIFT Water Technology Visualization Tool (now Tech Trends). The report (PDF) is available for free to WRF subscribers.


  • Tool Updates and Future Plans

    The Tech Trends tool will be regularly updated to reflect new responses. The underlying data was last updated on May 6, 2020.

    Additionally, the whole survey will be reissued in a few years, and that data will be layered in to further track the uptake of water innovation over time.

    You are free to distribute the link to this page or still images of the tool with attribution. Please attribute to The Water Research Foundation and link to the source material as appropriate.

Subscriber Access

Do you want to access the full Tech Trends tool, but are not a subscriber of The Water Research Foundation? Learn more about becoming a subscriber.