Policy Papers

The Reuse Opportunity // Cities Seizing the Reuse Opportunity in a Circular Economy

This report argues that decisive, urgent and large-scale action is needed to dramatically increase wastewater treatment, reuse and recycling. The report states that cities, as drivers of the global economy, must lead this resource revolution to enable a transition to a circular economy.

Wastewater is a global problem. Today, around 80% of all wastewater is discharged untreated into rivers, lakes and oceans. It creates health and environmental hazards, and contributes to Greenhouse Gas emissions, including nitrous oxide and methane. These emissions are three times larger than those produced by conventional wastewater treatment activities. Recovering water, energy, nutrients and other precious materials embedded in wastewater is an opportunity for cities to transition to the circular economy and contribute to improved water security.


  • Aqaba: A mid-size city turning its “zero discharge” challenge into a good opportunity
  • Bangkok: Using sludge as a resource and a valuable economic good
  • Beijing: Building infrastructure to keep up with an ever expanding mega city
  • Chennai: Addressing water scarcity through accelerated wastewater reuse
  • Durban: Wastewater as an economic good
  • Kampala: Protecting its water source with an integrated plan to control, treat and reuse wastewater and septic sludge
  • Lima: Learning by doing under the urgency of shrinking glaciers
  • Manila: A mega city regenerating its resources through wastewater treatment and reuse


IWA website


February 2018


International Water Association IWA

IWA Programmes establish change agendas on key themes for a water-wise world that contribute to sustainable development; these programmes are: Basins of the Future, Cities of the Future and Water and Sanitation Services. In shaping and furthering these agendas, IWA engages with a variety of individuals and organisations through projects, events and publications.

in partnership with

OPEC Fund for International Development OFID

OFID is an intergovernmental development finance institution established in 1976 by member states of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a collective channel of aid to developing countries. Working in cooperation with country partners and the international donor community, OFID aims to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty by providing financing to build basic infrastructure, boost delivery of social services and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. Realising the vital role clean water plays in fighting poverty, OFID is supporting operations that range from large-scale sanitation and water supply systems to village pumps and school latrines, to schemes rationalising water use in arid regions, and rehabilitating and expanding irrigation systems. Our vision is a world where Sustainable Development, centered on human capacity building, is a reality for all. Our mission is to foster South-South Partnership with fellow developing countries worldwide to eradicate poverty.

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TEDxTAMU about meliorism

TedX Talk on SDG and the WEF- Nexus // How will you Choose to Contribute?

TedX talk at Texas A&M Univerity by Bassel Daher introduces three major interconnected challenges facing our global community: water, energy , and food security. Focusing on the importance of working across disciplines to address these complex challenges, Daher presents the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a platform and catalyst that contributes to resolving them. He highlights the important role of science in supporting the development of the policies needed to achieve a more...

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*الترابط بين الغذاء والهجرة // الأسباب الجذرية للنزوح: انعدام الأمن الغذائي، والنزاع، والهجرة الدولية

أجرى برنامج الأغذية العالمي هذه الدراسة لتحديد الدور الذي يقوم به الأمن لغذائي وعوامل أخرى لإرغام الناس على الهجرة عبر الحدود. وتعبر هذه الدراسة، التي استندت إلى بحوث كمية ونوعية، على أصوات الناس الذين غادروا البلدان التي نشأوا فيها عن طريق عرض الروايات الشخصية لمهاجرين من مختلف البلدان. وقد استمدت هذه الروايات من مقابلات تمت في تركيا، والأردن، ولبنان، وإيطاليا، واليونان.

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Book Chapter // The Importance of the Water-Energy Nexus for Emerging Countries When Moving Towards Below 2 °C

By Gary Goldstein, Pascal Delaquil, Fadiel Ahjum, Bruno Merven, Adrian Stone, James Cullis, Wenying Chen, Nan Li, Yongnan Zhu, Yizi Shang, Diego Rodriguez, Morgan Bazilian, Anna Delgado-Martin, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm. The Thirsty Energy initiative of the World Bank assists countries to address water and energy planning challenges in an integrated manner. This book chapter analyses two Case Studies for South Africa and China and their different approaches to developing “water-smart” energy...

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