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How water management became sustainable

By 2040, a far-sighted approach to water resource management in mature economies coupled with investment for the long-term has relieved public fears about water scarcity resulting from growing populations and climate change. Drinking water supplies are stable, even in water-stressed areas, while availability of water ensures farmers enjoy plentiful harvests. People everywhere enjoy a better environment. In cities, rivers are healthier with more biodiversity, supporting mental and physical wellbeing, and boosting water-based leisure and tourism.

Sectors are working together to clean up aquifers, rivers, lakes and seas. Contaminants previously thought too difficult to control, such as plastics and pharmaceuticals, are being removed. This is slowing antimicrobial resistance, buying time to develop new medicines that prevent common illnesses from becoming major health risks.

Monitoring wastewater for pollution enables new diseases to be detected quickly, working as part of an early warning system against pandemics. Having achieved its goal of cutting carbon emissions to net-zero a decade ago, the water industry is now a net contributor to the energy grid. New jobs, cleaner air, reduced risk of flooding, and lower bills for both electricity and water are some of the benefits.

This is how.

Joined-up resource management

Joined-up resource management

The water sector has adopted a systems-based approach to water management so that resources, requirements, assets and risks are managed holistically.

It’s a system that facilitates effective collaboration between water and wastewater providers and their stakeholders – customers and community groups, local and national government, industry bodies, special interest groups and regulators. It also enables sustainable water management at catchment and inter-catchment scale, with data and digital twins – digital representations of the physical world – providing the necessary insight, communication and decision-making support.

Our tools: Moata Network Optimiser, Moata Land Management, Moata Geospatial

Inspiring change: Our vision for infrastructure as a platform for human flourishing

Inspiring change: Smarter ways to manage water resources

Project delivery: How mapping the stakeholder interconnections for two water catchment areas in the UK shows the value of a systems-based approach

Guidance: We provided a systems-based approach for two catchment areas for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Guidance: View our publication on water treatment, Purifying an essential resource

Why we want a joined-up approach to water resources. Read more

Digital transformation

Digital transformation

Water utilities have been reaping the benefits of digital transformation for nearly two decades. Data-based solutions have enabled more resilient, better value supply to customers, and helped companies to minimise capital and operational carbon emissions, and reduce their use of power and chemicals. This has contributed to an increasingly healthy aquatic environment.

Our tools: Moata Water Quality Prediction, Moata Treatment Optimiser, Moata Sewer Sure, Moata Rain Wise, Moata Route Optimiser

Inspiring change: View our publication on smart infrastructure

Inspiring change: How digital twins will transform infrastructure

Project delivery: Find out more about Safeswim, our award-winning project which uses data to protect swimmers and beachgoers in Auckland, New Zealand

Guidance: Read about the principles guiding the development of digital twins: The Gemini Principles

Where will digital take the water industry? Read more

Net-zero carbon

Net-zero carbon

The UK water industry met its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The efficiency, innovation and reputational benefits achieved inspired water providers in other mature economies to set accelerated paths to net-zero carbon too – by 2040 net-zero is the norm.

Our tools: Moata Carbon Portal

Inspiring change: Our carbon management services

Inspiring change: How we can help you achieve a net-zero future

Project delivery: Read about our net-zero route-map for the UK water industry

Project delivery: Learn more about our climate adaptation plan for Ireland’s water sector

Guidance: Infrastructure Carbon Review

Guidance: PAS 2080: The world’s first specification for managing whole-life carbon in Infrastructure

Guidance: Water UK Net-zero 2030 route-map

Net-zero: net gain. Read more

Circular economy

Circular economy

Water providers have embraced the circular economy, ‘upcycling’ much of their waste to produce commodities that are valuable to other industries and significantly reducing the amount sent to landfill.

Project delivery: Our modular sporting venues for the 2012 London Olympics can be fully dismantled and reassembled where needed.

Guidance: Enabling net-zero through the circular economy

Guidance: Making the case for DfMA

The circular economy can bring vast efficiencies to the water industry. Read more

New contaminants

New contaminants

By 2040, wastewater treatment is regarded by many governments as the frontline in tackling harm from contaminants to the environment, food chains and public health. Legislation and regulations have been tightened to better control plastics, inorganic chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Project delivery: We’re helping to manage the £235M Fleming Fund Grants Programme to address critical gaps in surveillance of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in low- and middle-income countries.

Guidance: Improving the global response to antimicrobial resistance

Guidance: Let’s leave a plastic-free legacy in our oceans

The wastewater sector must tackle contaminants. Read more

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