Black & Veatch Roundtables Make Recommendations on Overcoming Global Barriers to Water Reuse

Sept. 21, 2010
White paper outlines ideas from industry leaders during six major global conferences

Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch’s global water business, posted four key recommendations for overcoming global barriers to reuse of water as part of an integrated water industry portfolio. High-level roundtable discussions with approximately 75 water industry thought leaders at or during six major global conferences yielded the recommendations, as well as actions and processes to help the water industry overcome identified barriers to water reuse.

These recommendations are a part of a new white paper by McCarthy, titled “Overcoming Global Barriers to Water Reuse,” available at

“Our purpose was to delve deeper into issues commonly seen as potential barriers to water reuse and to provide a platform for networking and linking our clients, colleagues and business partners,” McCarthy said. “This enlightening series of conversations won’t immediately eliminate barriers, but helps our partners learn more about the challenges we collectively face and raise awareness of issues and potential solutions.”

Representatives of leading agencies around the world came together to discuss common themes and specific regional differences in reuse practices. Some came from regions with rapidly expanding populations, some from arid or water-stressed locations, and others from areas where water is plentiful.

The six roundtables took place around the world: three in the United States, two in Asia-Pacific and one in Europe. Panelists from 13 countries took part in the conversations: Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Mexico, United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, PR China and Hong Kong SAR. They represented a wide spectrum of experience with water reuse.

Four key recommendations emerged from discussion points common to each venue, leading to the conclusion that water utility and other industry leaders should:

• Work together to overcome existing public misconceptions through clear, consistent and continuous communications about water reuse and its place in an integrated water portfolio; • Emphasize the value of recycled water as a sustainable resource that will help meet future demands on the water supply; • Take a more integrated and open-minded approach to portfolio management as they develop water resources for their customers; and • Call for more streamlined regulations and clearer guidelines on standards in order to improve industry knowledge of the impact of water reuse.

Participants agreed that an adequate future water supply hinges on intelligent recovery and reuse, but advancing the option of water reuse will require new ways of thinking and greater cooperation among agencies working with water, wastewater and storm water. Better controls, data monitoring, public education and portfolio management, as well as continuously learning from best-management practices and models around the world, will also help overcome potential barriers to water reuse.

“We deeply appreciate the contribution of time and expertise of roundtable participants from around the world who came together to share their knowledge, insights and best practices for the benefit of all,” McCarthy said.

Source: Black & Veatch

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Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).