UKWIR shares first circular economy findings

UKWIR shares first circular economy findings

Published On 18/08/2021

In July, UKWIR shared the first findings from two collaborative projects under its Big Question “How do we maximise recovery of useful resources and achieve zero waste by 2050?”.

The projects aimed to kick-start a “new and exciting direction of travel for the water industry” moving towards a sector which “looks very different” to now. 

An ‘inherently circular’ sector

Our urban water cycle is inherently circular. We take water from the rivers and aquifers, use that water and then return it, treated, to the environment. 

However, a water sector based on Circular Economy principles is more than this. It is about being stewards of the water cycle and creating value from the resources we use, for example renewable energy. A circular economy sector will take a systems approach to water management, be collaborative and cooperative and transparently report on successes and failures, highlighting areas for improvement. 

The report made several recommendations to move the sector towards, and overcome the barriers to, embracing a circular economy approach. One of the key recommendations is to show how projects across all Big Questions are linked and prioritise those with the greatest benefits. 

Embracing systems thinking and undertaking a range of “foundational research projects to embed collaboration for transition to Circular Economy across all water companies and wider sectors”. A short summary of these two research projects can be read here. For detailed read please click, UKWIR report references 21/SL/12/3 & 21/SL/12/4.