A more sustainable, water-smart society is necessary, and possible – five learnings

Water scarcity is already severe in many parts of the world. While scarcity of phosphorous and other resources is impending, more than 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is discharged without treatment. Radical change, towards a more sustainable water-smart society, is therefore required.

Transitioning towards a water-smart society requires rethinking and development of new value chains. Industrial symbiosis, where traditionally separate industries generate value through increased physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and by-products, is core. To achieve this, water utilities, technology providers and actors in related sectors need to develop their industrial networks, in terms of

  1. Interaction with policymakers, knowledge actors and the public to build awareness and acceptance. 
  2. Development of new business models enabling valorisation of the recovered resources. 
  3. Identification of specific partners and development of joint systems and procedures for optimal resource utilization. 

Five learnings so far:

Learning 1: Address local needs and opportunities 

Learning 2: Need for learning and interaction

Learning 3: Need to align and collaborate across sectors

Learning 4: Change of mindset in water utilities 

Learning 5: Facilitate innovation 

Read the policy brief here


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