Water is “managed” in a linear and extractive manner, not unlike
the mining of any natural resource. This may sound overly critical
but unfortunately, it is accurate.
Whitepaper in collaboration with Aquacycl, Atlantean and Water Foundry.
Authors Juli Iacuaniello, Tom Freyberg and Will Sarni
The water sector has followed a similar pattern as any natural
resource “used” by humanity. For example, management strategies
have skewed towards meeting the immediate needs of the public
and the private sectors with less regard for the long-term
sustainability and resiliency of water. Shrinking supplies, rising
populations, and under-investment in infrastructure and innovation
have all created a sector characterized by fragility. In turn, we have a
cycle of reactive responses from within, making investing in a
balanced, long-term approach difficult (Commentary: From
Extractive to Sustainable: A Way Forward for the Water Sector).
The water sector now has an opportunity, and a sense of urgency, to
move from extractive to circular. The water sector has a distinct
advantage compared to the energy sector, for example. Many of the
required technologies and approaches are already being deployed
by leading utilities and industrial water users. These innovations,
along with processes and policies, create accountability, reduce cost
and risk, and unlock new opportunities.
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