Balancing competing interests and opportunities for better wastewater governance

Photo by Olga Nohra via Fickr
International event
Balancing competing interests and opportunities for better wastewater governance
27 August, 2017 - 09:00 - 10:30, Sweden

This event is part of the World Water Week 2017. 

The water crisis has been described as largely a governance crisis, however the role of wastewater has been overlooked in this discussion. With growing interest in harnessing the potential of wastewater, there is a growing need to address conflicting interests associated with managing and using this resource. From the perspective of environmental sustainability and public health, treatment is a priority to protect human communities and ecosystems. For farmers, wastewater treatment means loss of valuable nutrients. At the same time, wastewater is a valuable source of energy and entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to treat and sell wastewater by-products. How do we navigate these conflicting interests from a policy and practical perspective?

This event will explore these questions, through a wide representation of wastewater stakeholders, including farmers, municipal representatives, public health and environmental practitoners, researchers, and entrepreneurs. We will take stock recent experiences and policies shared by stakeholders from different settings using a marketplace format where participants will listen to some of these perspectives in five minutes shifts. Next, a dynamic debate will be facilitated to identify key messages stemming from stakeholder experiences of utilizing wastewater in varied contexts and discuss how policy can address them more efficiently.