KANSAS CITY, MO. — Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch’s global water business, posted four key recommendations for overcoming global barriers to reuse of water as part of an integrated water industry portfolio. High-level roundtable discussions with approximately 75 water industry thought leaders at or during six major global conferences yielded the recommendations, as well as actions and processes to help the water industry overcome identified barriers to water reuse.
These recommendations are a part of a just-released white paper by McCarthy, titled “Overcoming Global Barriers to Water Reuse,” available at https://waterdialogue.com/resources/reuse-whitepaper/.
“Our purpose was to delve deeper into issues commonly seen as potential barriers to water reuse and to provide a platform for networking and linking our clients, colleagues, and business partners,” McCarthy said. “This enlightening series of conversations won’t immediately eliminate barriers, but helps our partners learn more about the challenges we collectively face and raise awareness of issues and potential solutions.”
Representatives of leading agencies around the world came together to discuss common themes and specific regional differences in reuse practices. Some came from geographic regions with rapidly expanding populations, some from arid or water-stressed locations, and others from areas where water was plentiful.
Taking part in the six conversations — three in the United States, two in Asia Pacific, and one in Europe — were panelists from 13 countries: Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Mexico, United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, PR China, and Hong Kong SAR. They represented a wide spectrum of experience with water reuse.
Four key recommendations emerged from discussion points common to the various venues, leading to the conclusion that water utility and other industry leaders should:
• work together to overcome existing public misconceptions through clear, consistent, and continuous communications about water reuse and its place within an integrated water portfolio;
• emphasize the value of recycled water as a sustainable resource that will help meet future demands on the water supply;
• take a more integrated and open-minded approach to portfolio management as they develop water resources for their customers; and
• call for more streamlined regulations and clearer guidelines around standards in order to improve industry knowledge of the impact of water reuse.
Participants agreed that adequate future water supply hinges on intelligent recovery and reuse, but advancing the option of water reuse will require new ways of thinking and greater cooperation among agencies working with water, wastewater, and stormwater. Better controls, data monitoring, public education, and portfolio management, as well as continuously learning from best-management practices and models around the world, will also help overcome potential barriers to water reuse.
“We deeply appreciate the contribution of time and expertise of roundtable participants from around the world who came together to share their knowledge, insights, and best practices for the benefit of all,” McCarthy said.
Links to the white paper, other background materials and published articles about each individual roundtable discussion are also available on the microsite www.waterdialogue.com.