Water in the circular economy: opportunities and challenges

Stockholm International Water Institute
CAF - Development Bank of Latin America; The Rockefeller Foundation and World Resources Institute

We can no longer afford to embrace a linear water paradigm where water is used once and then discharged and where the economic value of water and associated wastes are not considered. A transition from a linear to circular economy paradigm for water and wastewater is essential to address our current and projected water challenges. These complex water challenges, such as water scarcity, water quality, and aging centralized infrastructure with inadequate funding mechanisms have resulted in negative impacts to economic development and business growth along with  gender and income inequality.


The circular economy paradigm requires that the value of water and associated wastes are addressed which will, in turn, drive innovation in public policy, financing, business models and technology. This “one water” paradigm will proactively create value for both the private and public sectors in low, middle and high income economies and contribute to achieving the SDGs, in particular the targets for water (SDG 6.3) and sustainable production (SDG 12.5)

SESSION 1: “Leveraging the Circular Economy and Current Barriers”



11:00 - 11:10    Overview of the Circular Economy
                         Dr. Fred Boltz, Rockerfeller Foundation


11:10 - 11:25    Circular Economy Keynote
                         Mr. Nick Jeffries, Ellen McArthur Foundation (tbc)


11:25 - 11:40    Bringing the Circular Economy to Life Keynote
                         Dr. Astrid Michels, Deutsche Gesellschaft für
                         Internationale Zusammenarbeit


11:40 - 12:15    Panel: Moderated by Mr. Carlos Diaz


  • Urban water services transitioning to a circular economy
    Dr. Astrid Michels, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
  • Local circular economy loops in between sectors
    Dr. Martine Vullierme,Veolia
  • 'One Water' strategies for corporate engagement
    Dr. Alex Money, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment
  • Prof. Gyewoon Choi, Incheon National University


12:15 - 12:30    Panel Q&A
                         Moderated by Mr. Carlos Diaz


12:30                Conclusions of Session 1

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Sunday 11:00-12:30
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