The water industry needs a strategy that keeps the price of water and the price of products that aid water treatment under control, in the light of the growing demand for water.

This Australian paper first presents the need for the industry to focus on controlling the price of water.

Secondly, since the paper focuses on low-pressure hollow-fibre membranes, it explains the processes used for the manufacture of Memcor® membrane modules, from material preparation to packaging and testing. Then, through reference to the Memcor membrane module manufacturing process, an analytical model is presented to determine membrane module cost and membrane performance.

The model leads to the presentation of the Water Price Index (WPI), which is an index that evaluates the membrane module price against its design flux, expected life, and efficiency.

By targeting a low WPI, the water industry can control the price of water and water treatment equipment. Analysis indicates that membrane design flux and expected life are the key drivers in keeping a low WPI.

The paper concludes with the presentation of results from a factorial study, and recommends further research subjects.

Desalination, Volume 332, Issue 1, 2 January 2014, Pages 44–51.