Water in Circular Economy Reading list

Did our articles and interviews catch your attention? Are you interested in reading more about Water and Circular Economy? The Circular Collective has a special list for you! This reading list shares articles, books and academic material of all-time curated for you. You'll find many great recommendations!


Water and Circular Economy: A white paper: Ellen Macarthur foundation 2018: The paper explores the relationship between the principles of Circular Economy and Sustainable Water Management and establishes a common language that will enable effective communication between Circular Economy and Water Management practitioners. https://nextgenwater.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Water_and_circular_economy-Co.Project_White_paper.pdf

Water supply in Delhi: Five key issues: ORF 2020: This paper studies the case of water management in Delhi. It describes the conditions under which water is produced and supplied to domestic consumers in Delhi and explains the capacity of the water and sewerage agency to discharge its duties. The analysis finds challenges in five aspects related to water supply in Delhi: quantity; quality; coverage; use; and disposal. It offers recommendations for collaborative efforts and sustainable solutions to ensure that the people of Delhi are provided an adequate supply of safe and clean water. https://www.orfonline.org/research/water-supply-in-delhi-five-key-issues-67477/

The urban water crisis in Delhi: Stakeholders responses and potential scenarios of evolution: IDDRI 2008: The paper shows that the scenario of convergence towards universal access to a potable water supply through a centralized public network is not the only long term scenario that can take place in developing cities similar to Delhi. Considering alternative scenarios, in which private coping systems play a role in shaping the long term technical trajectory of the urban water management system, allow the highlighting of certain important policy tools in achieving the sustainability of water management in developing cities. https://www.iddri.org/sites/default/files/import/publications/id_0806_maria_urban-crisis-water-delhi.pdf

Policy Paper on Water Efficiency and Conservation in Urban India (2017): Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Mahreen Matto, Shivali Jainer, Mritunjay Kumar and Chhavi Sharda: Learning from meteorological disasters (such as drought and severe floods) and difficulty in managing urban water systems (i.e. cost, operation and maintenance (O&M) and energy crisis), many developed countries (such as USA, Australia and the UK) practise water efficiency and conservation (WEC). They have developed effective measures of water conservation that mimic natural systems and effectively conserve water. This document details the rationale behind the recommendations along with legislative provisions. WEC is incorporated from the planning stage and through various interventions suitable in urban areas. In addition, this paper reviews the existing and upcoming water-related legal provisions. https://cdn.cseindia.org/userfiles/Urban-Water-Efficiency-and-Conservation.pdf

Academic Papers

C.E. Nika, V. Vasilaki, A. Expósito, E. Katsou, Water Cycle and Circular Economy: Developing a Circularity Assessment Framework for Complex Water Systems, Water Research, Volume 187, 2020, 116423: Water though negatively affected by the linear pattern of growth, still tries to find its positioning within the emerging concept of the circular economy. Fragmented, sectorial circularity approaches hide the risk of underestimating both the preservation of and impacts to water resources and natural capital. In this study, a game-changing circularity assessment framework is developed (i.e. MSWCA). The MSWCA follows a multi-sectoral systems approach, symbiotically managing key water-related socio-economic and non-economic sectors. The MSWCA modelling framework enables the investigation of the feedback loops between the nature-managed and human-managed systems to assess water and water-related resources circularity.

C.E. Nika, L. Gusmaroli, M. Ghafourian, N. Atanasova, G. Buttiglieri, E. Katsou, Nature-based solutions as enablers of circularity in water systems: A review on assessment methodologies, tools and indicators, Water Research, Volume 183, 2020. Water has been pushed into a linear model, which is increasingly acknowledged of causing cumulative emissions of pollutants, waste stocks, and impacting on the irreversible deterioration of water and other resources. Moving towards a circular model in the water sector, the configuration of future water infrastructure changes through the integration of grey and green infrastructure, forming Nature-based Solutions (NBS) as an integral component that connects human-managed to nature-managed water systems. In this study, a thorough appraisal of the latest literature is conducted, providing an overview of the existing tools, methodologies and indicators that have been used to assess NBS for water management, as well as complete water systems considering the need of assessing both anthropogenic and natural elements.

Nikita S. Kakwani, Pradip P. Kalbar, Review of Circular Economy in the urban water sector: Challenges and opportunities in India, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 271, 2020: The paper reviews the world-wide growth of CE concept in the water sector from an economic, environmental, social, and technical perspective. It also assesses the world-wide status of CE implementation in the water sector and proposes strategies to encourage and enhance CE implementation.

Nikolaos Voulvoulis, Water reuse from a circular economy perspective and potential risks from an unregulated approach, Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, Volume 2, 2018, Pages 32-45: This paper, therefore, examines opportunities and risks with the transition to a circular economy which could create significant synergies for the wide adoption of water reuse as an alternate water supply

Smol, M., Adam, C. & Preisner, M. Circular economy model framework in the European water and wastewater sector. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 22, 682–697 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10163-019-00960-z : The paper presents a proposition for a new CE model framework in the water and wastewater sector. The proposed CE model framework presents possible ways of implementing CE principles in the water and wastewater sector, with a strong emphasis not only technological but also organisational and societal changes.

Videos and Documentaries

‘Brave Blue World’ (2020) is the first honest and hopeful documentary that will paint an optimistic picture of how humanity is adopting new technologies and innovations to re-think how we manage water. https://bit.ly/35nHVEX

The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.https://bit.ly/2Ujk9Uj

TED Talk by Anupam Mishra (2009): The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting with wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India's Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today -- and are often superior to modern water megaprojects. https://bit.ly/3eOtFZ8

Rainwater Harvesting in Cities (Architecture and Society Series by GREHA): Held on 28th May 2019 at the India Habitat Centre, the 46th Talk in the Series focused on remote and streamlined management of shared resources, as exemplified by SimTanka, open-source software that helps design and maintain rainwater harvesting systems. The key speaker at the event was Dr Vikram Vyas – a theoretical physicist by training, his interest lies in developing mathematical tools and models that can facilitate reliable and sustainable use of water and energy resources. https://bit.ly/3lqKonH

Restoring Urban Water Bodies by Natural Means (Architecture and Society Series by GREHA): Held on 30 September 2019, the 50th Edition of Architecture and Society focused on the restoration of water bodies by natural means illustrated through the speaker’s extensive fieldwork. The key speaker at the event was Tarun Sebastian Nanda, an Indian-origin Anglo-Dutch environmental engineer who has worked in the government as well as private sector for half a decade. https://bit.ly/2IysVve


Water and women (2020): Water security, conflict and its gendered impactSanchi Singh in conversation with Ayushi Trivedi, a Gender and Social Equity Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC. Her research has focused on women’s role in natural resource management, gender and social equity as a solution to improved sustainability and promoting inclusive and equitable climate action. This episode is about a water-an essential resource that industries, energy production, our food systems depend on. It’s vital for sanitation, hygiene and access to clean, drinking water is a basic human right. Yet more than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2nm3XaJyi0Q1HSjR6n0I2M?si=W4Qj_8RVRwW5SPZwmSLYEg

Can river Yamuna be rejuvenated? 2020 Pretika Khanna: Delhi is a special state and has a multi-tiered level of governance which makes the intersection between urban governance and national politics extremely nuanced. This intersection, more often than not, sets precedence, for how other states react. Through this weekly podcast, Pretika Khanna, discusses her city, Delhi and decodes some of the issues that affect Delhi-dwellers and the rest of India, alike. https://www.htsmartcast.com/single-episode/government/110006-can-river-yamuna-be-rejuvenated-7700438/

Webinars and MOOC's

ird-gird - इर्द गिर्द – Paani - Water & Wastewater Management (2020) - Vishwanath S by SehreetiVishwanath S is a Civil Engineer and Urban Planner. He teaches as an Adjunct Faculty in Azim Premji University. He has 34 years of experience in the water sector with rainwater harvesting, wastewater reuse, groundwater management and ecological sanitation systems. https://bit.ly/36lGGFu

Circular Economy Masterclass (Details awaited for the 2021 University of Exeter): The 6-week Masterclass goes beyond the basics, giving participants an understanding in value creation, capture and scaling and the capabilities required at each stage on the transition to more circular thinking. The Masterclass is designed to enable participants in the water sector to understand, implement and derive organisational value from the Circular Economy.https://www.ciwem.org/assets/uploads/Circular_Economy_Brochure_1.pdf

Greening Risk Reduction with Nature-Based Solutions (Details awaited for 2021 IHE Delft): The course explores the ‘insurance’ value of the environment and how this value can be incorporated into business models for nature-based solutions. The premise of the course is that nature-based solutions (NBS) can mitigate the impact of a potential water-related hazard (floods and droughts). This reduces expected damage cost to people and property, which can include both insured and uninsured assets, as well as wider impacts (e.g. business interruption etc.) which are often not accounted for in damage costs assessments.https://www.un-ihe.org/summer-course-greening-risk-reduction-nature-based-solutions

Water: Addressing the Global Crisis (Starts November 13, 2020, SDG Academy and Stockholm International Water Institute): The SDG Academy and the Stockholm International Water Institute have come together to offer this MOOC on some of the most important water issues. We focus on the key role water plays in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, not least SDG 6, about sustainable water and sanitation for all. The course intends to explain the global water crisis through linkages between water, environment, and societal development, focusing on how to tackle issues such as growing water uncertainty and deteriorating water quality.https://www.edx.org/course/water-addressing-the-global-crisis-2

Sustainable Cities (Starts November 13, 2021, SDG Academy and Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) In Sustainable Cities, you will learn about the major challenges currently faced by urban areas around the world – including poverty, unemployment, poor housing infrastructure, and constraints on productivity – and the extraordinary potential of these areas to enable change in the future. From infrastructure to culture to economic opportunity, learn how harnessing the power of urban development for global progress is imperative.https://www.edx.org/course/sustainable-cities-2

Towards Water-sensitive cities- Experience of Approach and Practices in Australia and India 18th November 2020, 25th November 2020 Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and Alluvium International (Alluvium)

- Webinar 1: Towards Water Sensitive Cities in Australia and India

The first webinar will give the opportunity to learn from the experience in Australia, with a particular focus on the State of Victoria – in terms of the research, policy and implementation over the last two decades – as well as recent advances in India.

- Webinar 2: Recent adoption of “Water Sensitive Cities” approach in India

The second webinar will give the opportunity to learn in more detail exemplar projects and programs that have adopted water sensitive principles and technologies both in Australia and India.https://www.cseindia.org/two-part-webinar-series-on-towards-water-sensitive-cities-experience-of-approach-10399

Curated by

Kanchan Joneja (LinkedIn) is an architect, design researcher and development professional who is constantly experimenting with a design for positive social and environmental impact in both urban and rural areas. She has experience working with SEEDS on projects that strive to reduce risk from disasters by building back better and developing resilience in communities through decentralised solutions across India. She has also worked within the domain of sustainable construction practices and affordable housing. She holds an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

Sukriti Thukral (LinkedIn) is an architect and researcher with a deep interest in urban systems, affordable housing and conservation of natural and built heritage. She has been working on architectural projects with the belief that we need to build less and build smart, always being conscious of the natural resources we use. She is known to have a keen eye for observation of patterns in the environment and human behaviour. She is an alumnus of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi with an undergraduate degree in Architecture.

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