The Role of Water Technology Innovation
in the Blue Economy
4th Water Research Conference
10 - 13 September 2017 | Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo
Planet Earth faces increasingly imminent water resource scarcity challenges due to population growth, wealth accumulation, climate change and society’s increasing demand for cleaner and more resource efficient production and consumption. Meeting growing demand and avoiding catastrophic global water resource scarcity require the development and implementation of water technology innovation on the one hand and behavioral changes on the other hand. These push/supply and pull/demand factors ideally go hand in hand, but typically lack in practice the necessary institutional-economic coordination and governance structures. In addition, evidence-based transformative strategies based on cost-effective and efficient economic policy instruments towards the Blue Economy are missing despite increasing policy and political interest in concepts such as circular economy.
This international water conference, co-chaired by the editors in chief of the Elsevier journals Water Research and Water Resources and Economics and endorsed by the International Water Association (IWA), aims to highlight, discuss and advance state-of-the-art thinking and research to support the transition towards a Blue Economy, in particular the role of water science and technology innovation and the necessary institutional-economic enabling environment to foster sustainable behavioral change in current water use and depletion.
The conference solicits disciplinary and interdisciplinary paper presentations on the relevant technological, economic, social and governance dimensions underlying technology adoption and behavioral change towards the Blue Economy, in particular in urban and rural water systems as depicted below.
Interrelated interdisciplinary components addressed at the international water conference
This includes topics such as the technological, social, economic and institutional challenges related to, for example::
- Technology adoption and behavioral change in the Blue Economy
- Reconciling agriculture, energy and e-flows
- River restoration
- Global resilient cities
- Centralized versus decentralized urban water systems
- Re-use of wastewater and storm water harvesting
- Resource recovery in wastewater, energy and the agricultural sector
- Regulatory frameworks, public-private partnerships, voluntary agreements and economic policy instruments such as pricing and full cost recovery
- Life Cycle Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment and other decision-support tools
- Economic valuation of environmental externalities and benefits (e.g. improvement in water quality)
- Novel economic, finance and business models to support the transition towards the Blue Economy
- Public perception and valuation of environmental risks and impacts on public health and well-being
After the conference, special issues are foreseen in the journals Water Research and Water Resources and Economics. Papers presented at the conference will be selected for inclusion in the special issues based on regular peer review procedures.
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- Roy Brouwer, The Water Institute – University of Waterloo, Canada
- Mark van Loosdrecht, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands