Convergence of the waste and water sectors: risks, opportunities and future trends – discussion paper

Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS
Publication Type:
2017, pp. 1 - 24
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The aim of this discussion paper is to bring to light the increasing convergence of the water and waste sectors and the associated risks, benefits, and future trends already on the horizon. Current examples of convergence in managing coal seam gas (CSG), food waste, fats, oils and grease (FOG) and biosolids, provide insights into not only the risks to public and environmental health of waste streams that cross sectoral boundaries but also potential opportunities for the water and waste sectors to seize as business opportunities. What is clear is that convergence between these sectors is already happening and in some cases there are adverse environmental consequences and associated health impacts. A key message from this research is the need to take an integrated and coordinated approach to planning and regulating the convergence of the water and waste sectors. Key recommendations to manage the risks associated with cross sector convergence of the water and waste sectors include facilitating: (1) increased engagement between regulators of each sector, (2) greater communication across sectors (3) a co-ordinated approach and plan to managing waste streams, (4) the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks that cross sectors and (5) a coordinated approach to the assessment of research needs.
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