The current water crisis is one of the most significant challenges of our time. Water challenges are particularly salient in urban areas, where more than half the global population lives for the first time in history. The worldwide urban population is estimated to nearly double by 2050 , which has profound implications for urban water demand. Presently at 15–20 percent of global water consumption, urban demand is set to rise to 30 percent. Increasing urban water, use will also lead to more wastewater and water pollution. Climate change further exacerbates pre-existing water stresses and is already having a measurable effect on the urban water cycle — altering the amount, distribution, timing, and quality of available water.
Circular Economy principles have emerged as a response to the current unsustainable linear model of “take, make, consume, and waste.” Yet so far, the water sector has not been systematically included in high-level circular economy strategy discussions. In practical terms, a circular approach designs products that reduce pressure on natural resources and minimise waste. Circular economy principles offer an opportunity to recognise and capture the full value of water (as a service, an input to processes, a source of energy and a carrier of nutrients and other materials).
Rethinking urban water through the circular economy and resilience lenses offers an opportunity to tackle all these challenges by providing a systemic and transformative approach to delivering water supply and sanitation services in a more sustainable, inclusive, efficient, and resilient way.
(The World Bank, 2021)
Watch the YouTube Video case study of Vitens NV that is a company in the drinking water industry that innovatively focused on the implementation of circular economy.