Innovative Session IV

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

14:30 – 16:00 CEST

Knowledge Faces Practice: Societal Challenges and Barriers to Overcome to Enhance Water Reuse Adaptation in a Circular Economy

Conveners:
Dr. Serena Caucci, Associate Programme Officer, UNU-FLORES.
Dr. Jonathan Clive Morris, Research Associate, Leibniz-Institute for Ecological Regional Development

Moderator
Prof. Kensuke Fukushi, Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS

Speakers:
Dr Katarzyna Pawęska, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Science
Dr T. Bartosz Kalinowski, Faculty of Management, University of Lodz
Dr. Saroj Kumar Chapagain, UNU-IAS Research Fellow for the Water for Sustainable Development project

Water resource systems are essential to support and maintain resilient ecosystems, and their impact is a key determinant for socio‐economic prosperity. The climate-driven changes and anthropogenic pressures emphasize the need for more sustainable practices for water management maintaining the integrity of the systems. The Circular Economy model (CEM) aims to enable effective flows of materials and optimize resource use and reuse in the economy and minimize the generation of waste. The restorative and regenerative approach of CEM has the potential to close the loop in the water cycle by providing a reliable alternative to conventional water resources with applications ranging from agricultural irrigation to industrial reuse or commercial use. Reusing water and enhancing the conservation of freshwater systems has clear synergies with the Circular Economy model if the value can be maximized through reuse & recovery of wastewater and enhancing the conservation of freshwater systems. However, the effective uptake of water reuse has remained limited due to multiple barriers including the technical feasibility, legal provisions, and political/ societal acceptance.
Public-private partnerships could represent an option to amplify and realize the full potential of water reuse as a resource-efficient smart solution. This session will explore pathways to strengthen public-private partnerships in promoting the circular economy. In the session, the interlinkages between industry, water utilities, and the agro-industry will be identified and innovative strategies on how to incorporate them into smart water management principles will be investigated as a road to the transition of society into a more circular economy system for water resource use. This session will also be a step to address the ‘Anthropocene gap’ by pointing to the inability of current governance structures to contend with emerging trends in water reuse.

“Policy and Institutional Aspects of Water Reuse Management”

Dr Serena Caucci is an Associate Programme Officer at UNU-FLORES. Serena’s current research is geared towards sustainable development with a special interest in the impact that anthropogenic activities have on natural resources. Focusing on the sustainable management of wastewater and organic waste, Serena is working towards developing a transdisciplinary framework that could use socioeconomic and environmental interlinkages to enhance sustainable natural resource management.

Dr Kensuke Fukushi is an Academic Programme Officer at UNU-IAS. He is also Professor and Vice Director of the Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo (UTokyo). With expertise in environmental engineering and sustainability science, Dr Fukushi is focusing on water resource management in Asia, including India, Nepal and Japan.

“Opportunities and Barriers to Implementation for Water Reuse: Examples from the Agricultural Sector “

Dr Jon Morris is a Research Associate at the Leibniz-Institute for Ecological Regional Development. His research is focused on the strategic and efficient use of resources in the economy, and the impacts on regions and society. He is currently working on projects involving business stakeholders to tackle water management issues.

“Technology and Water Reuse Systems at the Forefront for Circular Economy “

Dr Katarzyna Pawęska graduated from The Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy Agricultural University in Wrocław, Poland in 2002 and received her Ph.D. in agricultural science (specialty: wastewater treatment plants) in 2006. Katarzyna from the beginning of her career is associated with the Institute of Environmental Engineering, and since 2018 has been working as Associate Professor of Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Science.

“Innovation in Water Reuse Towards Circular Economy “

Dr T. Bartosz Kalinowski is an associate professor at the Faculty of Management at the University of Lodz with over 15 years of experience in research and teaching. He is the head of Centre of Excellence in Research – KnowBase at the University of Lodz. Bartosz has experience in sustainable management, green practices, CO2 hotspots identification and minimizing environmental impact.

“Environmental Sustainability & Water for Sustainable Development “

Dr. Saroj Kumar Chapagain joined UNU-IAS as a Research Fellow for the Water for Sustainable Development project in May 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Integrated River Basin Management from the University of Yamanashi, Japan. His research and teaching interests include decentralized wastewater management, environmental monitoring and integrated water resources management.