This paper will guide water utilities to unlock the circular economy to better manage resources, make and use products and to regenerate natural systems.
It’s hard to find a more circular business than water. All water on Earth is used and reused in an endless cycle. The concept of the circular economy has been gaining traction locally and globally over the past decade and has many benefits for customers, the broader community, the environment and utilities.
This paper outlines the key building blocks required for a utility to transition to a circular economy as well as the value proposition and the many benefits to customers and the broader community, the environment and to utilities themselves.
It also collates existing knowledge on the contribution of the urban water industry in a circular economy and recommends the next steps to help utilities begin or further advance their approach. It is supported by 15 international and Australian case studies showcasing the future possibilities for the urban water industry.
The paper has been prepared for WSAA and its members by the Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.