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How water management became sustainable

By 2040, a farsighted 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 well-being, 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 Optimizer, Moata Land Management, Moata Geospatial.

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

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 minimize 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 Optimizer, Moata Sewer Sure, Moata Rain Wise, Moata Route Optimizer

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 that 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: Learn more about our climate adaptation plan for Ireland’s water sector.

Guidance: Infrastructure Carbon Review.

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.

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 front line 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 Fleming Fund Grants Program 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 fight against contaminants. Read more.

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