B&V puts forward four water-reuse recommendations

Four key recommendations have been put forward by Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch’s global water business, for overcoming global barriers to reuse of water as part of an integrated water industry portfolio.

The recommendations are a part of a white paper published by McCarthy on 20 September 2010, titled Overcoming Global Barriers to Water Reuse. Black & Veatch undertook high-level roundtable discussions with approximately 75 water industry leaders at or during six major global conferences, which yielded the recommendations.

The four key recommendations are 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
  • call for more streamlined regulations and clearer guidelines around standards in order to improve industry knowledge of the impact of water reuse.
  • “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, China and Hong Kong. They represented a wide spectrum of experience with 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.

    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.