Future requirements to implement integrated solutions
On 15 November 2018 AIWW Summit took place at the SS Rotterdam in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Theme of the programme was Implementation of Integrated solutions by Cities, Industries, Utilities and Finance. The outcomes of the AIWW Summit 2018 are the roadmap for AIWW 2019. A line up of priorities, positioning and focus areas for the AIWW conference in 2019. The session ‘Roundtable Rotterdam recommendations’ was one of the AIWW Summit afternoon sessions.
The ten roundtable sessions helped shape into further detail what are the future requirements for the implementation of integrated solutions. A discussion that emphasizes objectives and goals in connection to the Agenda 2030. What challenges are we facing and what resources are needed to meet those challenges? An agenda setting dialogue that will be used for a broader AIWW Community, Amsterdam Agreements and other future international events.
Roundtable 1: Leadership and Governance: societal needs in regional and coastal development
Moderator: Veronica Manfredi, Director of directorate for Quality of life, DG Environment, European Commission
Introduction by: Carolien Ligtenberg, Progamme Manager Fab City Nature
Nature-based solutions should be one of the first options to consider when building future physical infrastructure. This is a new approach that starts with the natural system and uses ecosystem services to meet society’s need for infrastructure and encourages the development of nature at the same time. Meanwhile the Agenda 2030 will also focus on societal needs within sustainable development of coastal regions and towns. A new, open form of regional development with social added value and a process in which learning, experimenting and evolving is carried out.
- Dare to experiment more. Learn from making mistakes
- Connect pilots to industries and the commercial sector: embed them in real world examples
- Redefine prosperity
- Convince people of climate risks and make them invest
- Raise awareness among communities and engage them by education, 3D Artificial Intelligence, media and artists, emotion and stories or threats of legal action.
- Take time for adaptation and monitor change
Roundtable 2. Effective and proven partnerships, cooperations and alliances
Moderator: Christopher Gasson, Global Water Intelligence
Introduction by: Hein Pieper, Vice President of the Dutch Water Authorities, Chairman of regional water authority ‘Rijn and IJssel’
How can partnerships and alliances help 20 million people in 40 catchment areas around the world gain access to clean, sufficient and safe water. Projects need to be carried out within partnerships that will improve water management. Focus is on providing help, but also on creating opportunities for businesses and on learning from other countries.
This session discussed among others the future requirements, objectives and challenges of the Blue Deal Programme. Projects are carried out within the partnerships that will improve water management step by step. In doing so, the programme will help achieve Sustainable Development Goals 6.3-6.6.
- Focus on people: they are essential in determining how assets are governed – an imposed framework needs multiple points of view
- Include multiple stakeholders with technical and governance backgrounds in order to help accelerate solutions for global water issues.
- Create a structure (incentive) of responsibility for all engaged stakeholders.
- Map out stakeholders involved in order to identify who gets a piece of the pie, identify where issues may exist, to be able to come with a joint solution
- Make sure you have local presence (embassies, etc.) in order to mitigate differences that may exist
- Create long term commitment
Roundtable 3. Scaling Funds for water and sanitation services
Moderator: Piet Klop, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM Investments
Introduction by: Pritha Hariram, FMO-Dutch Development Bank
Various finance institutions with an ambition to finance water related projects and initiatives, seem to struggle to fill their pipeline. There appears to be no lack of money, but a lack of bankable projects. Is that true and if so, what are the underlying factors contributing to that? And how can they be overcome? To address among others these questions, in 2017-2018, FMO and NWP jointly undertook a market analysis of financing needs of the (Dutch) water sector with respect to international water projects and programs. The analysis sheds light on the bottlenecks experienced by the Dutch water sector when it comes to their international positioning and ability to forge collaborations and win contracts. It also gave suggestions on how these challenges can be overcome (in both developing nations, emerging markets and developed nations).
- Create a better match between public finance and commercial finance (one stop shop / catalogue with different (complementary) financing options)
- Facilitate more case-based matchmaking between water sector and finance sector as parties still hardly know each other and how they can collaborate
- Commercial finance needs to step out of its comfort zone and open up to smaller financial investments (which are currently assumed to have too high ‘transaction costs’)
- Project development skills of the water sector can and needs to improve and financial partners need to be involved in an early project development stage in order to make projects more bankable
- Generate support for a Dutch Water Asset Management Company. Accelerating innovations, reducing operational risk and financing projects
- Generate finance guidance from an initiative like Dutch Climate Round tables: to identify different types of money that suit different water service projects
- Recognize patterns of success of similar projects in the past to gain the attention of investors
- Respect local laws and capacities to achieve integrated solutions and implementations (a demand driven instead of supply driven approach)
Roundtable 4. Accelerating water quality management by science and innovation
Moderator: Jantienne van der Meij-Kranendonk, Liaison Officer, WaterCampus
Introduction by: Marcel Paalman, Senior Scientific Researcher, KWR – Water in the Circular Economy (WICE)
This roundtable discussed targets on water quality in the entire water cycle with an emphasis on micro pollutants, prioritized chemicals, EU ban of chemicals and emerging contaminants of emerging concern. The question raised if this problem needs to be addressed by the water sector alone or that it needs to include actors in a chain approach on catchment level. And who will take control of such a chain approach. The table discussed issues on compliance with the Water Framework Directive in the light of the upgrade of drinking water standards and higher transparency for water consumers.
- Map stakeholders: financial and environmental position
- Work together on an innovative integrated chain approach (technological and governance)
- Increase sense of urgency (public awareness), use impact analyses
- Use a chain approach on regional level (mapping stakeholders, creating awareness, identifying problems on regional level and extend it on higher level).
- Make policy where stakeholders can select only relevant parts ‘Lego blocks’ of the approach to solve their water quality problems (based on their specific situation).
- Take into account the complete life cycle during product development (LCA), prevent pollution.
- Compare several ways of how to deal with the complete water cycle: reuse or disconnect systems, comparison with other sectors/compounds/countries (Israel, Singapore, Namibia and Germany, Berlin).
- Bring together all relevant stakeholders during AIWW 2019
Roundtable 5. ICT & Data innovations in water management
Moderator: Xander de Bruine, Netherlands Water Partnership
Introduction by: Koen Verberne, 52Impact, European Space Agency, Netherlands Space Office
The opportunities to combine different data sources, from multiple sensors and measurement types, and the impact on future reconcile data and water dynamics models. Digital solutions relevant for the water sector and challenges in adaptation and how to overcome were discussed.
- Focus on the digital revolution in water management as a strategic issue with 60% co-creation level (include stakeholder perspective) and 40% digital technique
- Share best digital (proven) practices at AIWW 2019 Conference – avoid too much future digital possibilities
- Consider ICT and data services from an ecosystem approach
- Take a close look at data management and legal issues after implementation – include cyber security
- Include concepts like possibilities of blockchain technology in valuing water
- Focus on open source modelling – agreement for open data and open innovation between stakeholders
- Bring in co-creation technology partners to fill in the gap between ICT/Data developers and users (Utilities, etc..)
Roundtable 6. Resource Recovery in a Circular Economy
Moderator: Mark van Loosdrecht, Chair Professor in Environmental Biotechnology, TUDelft
Introduction by: Arjen van Nieuwenhuizen, ReCirc Consortium & Jos Boere, Director Allied Waters
With a growing demand for measuring and monitoring and the opportunities of resource recovery that enables bulk production to high value products from waste this roundtable highlighted new services that bring new business models. Circular Economy 2.0 discussing the value pyramid
- Include people (social cycles) to make resource recovery tangible (ex. De Ceuvel, Blue City), hubs that offer the social experience of circularity, approachable, seeing is believing.
- Focus should be on a business case for water and waste treatment: what value could comeout of recirculating resources.
- Create financial support for ground work research (pre-investment)
- Find markets, adequate marketing for circular initiatives to move past the pilot stage, into markets (end user).
- Create products through circular design – in the long run it becomes more efficient for the business model.
- Turn the circular economy into a driver for change. It is the platform for collective behavioral change because it offers benefits for all actors when added value is clear.
- Create selective extraction and provide a higher quality product with a better business case (e.g. ammonia recovery: certain fractions have a higher value than others).
- Link to market and market trend knowledge; crucial for the success of a project.
- Create long term projection. This will provide a stronger case for these projects, by adapting to growth and societal changes (e.g. energy case).
- Make every step of Resource Recovery implementation a learning process. It will create a constructive challenge among stakeholders.
- Start separation at the source
Roundtable 7. Blue-Green solutions for urban resilience
Moderator: Gerhard van den Top, Chair Dutch Regional Water Authority Amstel, Gooi & Vecht, Kees van der Lugt, Regional director, World Waternet
Introduction by: Carolien Gehrels, European Director Big Urban Clients, Arcadis & Human Cities Coalition
This roundtable session discussed next generation green flood inundation maps and resilient critical infrastructures and aligning (urban) objectives. Protect existing infrastructure and other capital and social assets by building resilience and blue-green solutions to extreme events and projected climate change and increased variability.
- Design, build, reuse.
- Create a city master plan including society, people, contractors.
- Tender design: blue and green included, taking the time on the first phases of designing. (connectivity, recreation, livelihood investments)
- Implement a way to allow new solutions and innovations into the current designs. Make it more flexible, involving innovation.
- Make sure to have a visualisation of where the city has to be 10+ years from now
- Link challenges in the social domain to what people are trying to achieve at individual level.
- Be aware of the European initiatives, share them and use the experiences elsewhere
Roundtable 8. Solutions for best practice benchmarking
Moderator: Henk Jan Top, Senior Manager, Accenture
Introduction by: Roelof Kruize, CEO Waternet & Cooperation Water Utilities of the world & Jörg Simon, CEO Wasserbetriebe Berlin
To find out how to overcome the main challenges found at watersheds, this roundtable discussed the importance of data, stakeholders and collaboration. This roundtable session discussed the contours of a data sharing platform that uses the overlapping variables of different watersheds to identify opportunities to collaborate and share solutions.
- Invite the right stakeholders to the table. Broaden the base by inviting not only water professionals but also stakeholders with impact (financial, polluters, insurance, etc)
- Improve data insights for all stakeholders by sharing and using open data – new and secured data.
- Improve governance: regulations and regulators need to be more dynamic, adaptive to current and future needs – leading not lagging.
Roundtable 9. Upscaling innovation: two African examples
Moderator: Johan Kruger, Vice Chairman of the Infrastructure Bank Plc in Nigeria
Introductions by: Sjef Ernes, CEO Aqua for All (ViaWater Programme) and Joseph Murabula, CEO KIFFWA Limited
Project owners of Via Water and the Kenyan Innovative Finance Facility for Water (KIFFWA) openly shared their experiences and lessons learned, providing insight in how partnerships are being constructed and which future connections are necessary for upscaling. Roundtable participants got a unique opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of two powerful incubators.
- Monetize social and environmental dividend to stimulate more sustainable driven investments and allow for better benchmarking
- Map opportunities in addition to risk – in order to stimulate a good risk-reward balance
- Look into options to cross-subsidize water and sanitation facilities
Roundtable 10. AIWW SDG EU Scan
Moderator: Gaetano Casale, Liaison Office Manager, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
Introduction by: Kees van Leeuwen, Principal Scientist, KWR
This roundtable session discussed the development of an appropriate and applicable Index that can be used in conjunction with the sustainable development goals and the City Blueprint Approach. It will focus on ‘connecting benchmarks’ like; the City index, CDP Water Disclosure, the European Benchmarking Organization; Utilities of the World and IWA benchmarking. The optimal indicators to characterize water management on a national scale, around the world.
- Include community engagement as indicator
- Address (measure) value of water versus only the price of water
- Measure involvement of stakeholders within SDG development
- Governance should not be imposed
- Include accountability of project donors
- Create synthesis between technical and governmental solutions
- Make data quality consistent on worldwide scope to measure consistently.
At the Amsterdam International Water Week Summit 2018 objectives and goals in connection to the Agenda 2030 where discussed. It provided an overview of resources we need to reach those objectives and goals. There is consensus and passion not to discuss sense of urgency but rather to start working on implementation of integrated solutions in water management. This requires cooperation between different sectors.
Social economic benefits of integrated solutions
Water and economy are strongly connected. Although we face many challenges in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals we are now entering an operational era of implementation of new integrated solutions for resource recovery with revenue streams and social economic benefit. Innovation is offering efficiency and economic perspective. Project development skills of the water sector can and needs to improve. Financial partners need to be involved in an early project development stage in order to make projects bankable. We need to recognise patterns of success in best practices to gain the attention for financing projects.
Digital revolution and efficiency
Focus on the digital revolution in water management as a strategic issue, at a co-creation level and from a stakeholder perspective. Consider block chain technology possibilities as water will become more a commodity in the near future. Focus on the digital revolution in water management from an ecosystem approach. Provisioning of data kickstarts analysis and monitoring of water service projects and helps to build and manage efficiency and minimizing risk for investment.
Ecosystem services and co-creation
Future costs for integrated solutions can be reduced by nature-based solutions and the strategic options of the digital water management revolution. The AIWW Summit also learned that global cooperation is developing. Not only Government-to-Government or other Partnerships with impact but also opportunities for co-creation, data sharing, community participation and stakeholder perspective. A new version of collaboration endorsed by young water professionals. Create a structure (incentive) of climate change responsibility for all engaged stakeholders. Use ecosystem services to meet society’s need for infrastructure and development of nature at the same time.
Important conclusions at AIWW 2017
Amsterdam International Water Week Conference in 2017 acted as platform to define and implement a ‘roadmap of change’ in resiliency, optimal resource efficiency and transition to circular economies defined by global leaders, managers, young professionals and new-tech innovators. The conclusions of AIWW Conference 2017 emphasized the importance of collaboration and inclusion in future requirements to implement integrated solutions. Applicable to as well abstract topics – like ‘valuing water’ not only to be seen as a monetary value but collaboratively consider transparency and pricing mechanisms being key to reflect true value – or concrete topics – like water operator partnerships, benchmarking and fact-based analysis like appropriate sustainability Indexing. The future provides a key role for regulation in driving progress, innovation driven by investors and ultimately a global World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty for water. AIWW made a practical and innovative start by facilitating Amsterdam Agreements (9 agreements in 2017). Powerful public commitments made by partnerships willing to work together on real-world examples to connect city, water utility and industry case owners to implement solutions.
While the Resilient Cities Leaders Forum in 2015 focused on developing guidance to help make water cities more resilient against disasters, the 2017 Forum discussed the challenges that cities are facing based on concrete cases presented by mayors and deputy mayors and linked these with possible measures and solutions provided by global networks, private sector and financial institutes.
Value of Water: conclusions related to this topic where the emerging economic opportunities, such as those around resource recovery of resources from used waters and a wider contribution to the energy transition needed by cities. The need for ‘value resilience’ in supply chains of commodities and the need to finance decentralized water service projects.
Water management and resilience: climate change adaptation measures can be taken at the utility, industry and city level, especially the combined catchment-wide, green-blue measures. To be deployed in the concept of Water Sensitive Cities that combine flood protection, water quality, and environmental flow measures across river basins facilitating cooperation around transboundary waters. Improved groundwater management by aquifer storage offering a potential means of balancing the collection and use of alternative water sources.
Governance and institutional transformation: as mentioned in the overall conclusion, AIWW Conference 2017 emphasized the importance of collaboration and inclusion in future requirements to implement integrated solutions. Progress needs to be made in water operator partnerships, such as the Dutch WaterWorX initiative with the ultimate result to stimulate innovation and scale up promising solutions.
Following the successful first edition of Resilient Cities Leaders Forum (RCLF) in 2015 in Amsterdam, the second edition was organized in 2017.
Innovation in water solutions: focus on innovation needs an eye on wastewater-based epidemiology, the use of deep tunnels to address sewage and stormwater issues, beneficial use of wastewater streams and the infinite opportunities of IT and big data features in integrated solutions.
Next step: AIWW Conference 4-5 November 2019