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While challenging, global change also offers opportunities to implement a new paradigm for urban water management. This is particularly the case in emerging economies, where systems are yet to be built.
Development plans will allow direct implementation of radically different system configurations: where surface water, groundwater and stormwater are combined as potential sources; where innovative solutions are applied that allow source separation of wastes and implementation of reclamation schemes (wastewater recycling, nutrient and energy recovery schemes); and where mixed land-use development promotes cascading water uses.
The next 10 years will be a golden era for emerging economies (particularly for wastewater and sanitation), where the potential to leap-frog is great.
WA is inspiring the international water sector to adopt a more smarter approach to water management; Smart by design –adaptive ‘off-grid’, distributed systems that provide diversity, and modularity, characteristics critical for resiliency; Smart Use; combining concepts of water fit for purpose (different grades for different uses), and resource recovery and reuse (of water, energy, and nutrients from wastewater); and Smart Control; IoT supporting data-driven models that can help integrate and optimize smart pumps, valves, sensors and actuators, each device can “talk” to each other, or for that matter to a customer’s smartphone and send real-time information to be access and shared via the cloud.