2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Water and Sustainable Development: From Vision to Action. 15-17 January 2015

Side event. New sources: Wastewater reuse in the framework of sustainable management

Date: 14 January 2015
Edificio Etopía, Avda. Ciudad de Soria, 8 - acceso por Avda. Autonomía, 7 y Calle Soria. Zaragoza.
IMDEA Water Institute, University of Alcalá, Consolider Tragua Network (TRAGUANET)
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Studies regarding global risks in economic, geopolitical, technological or environmental aspects, like the one elaborated each year by the World Economic Forum, place a growing emphasis on environmental risks like climate change or the so called "water crisis". According to this report, both risks are among the top four in greatest probability and greatest impact. The global risk of "water crisis" is determined by very different factors, some related to climate change and all related to world population increase. Water is necessary for this growing population, and attention should be given to how the population is distributed. Half of humanity lives in cities, and within two decades, almost 60% of the world population (5 billion people) will live in urban areas. The explosive growth of urban population poses unprecedented challenges.

Keeping the depletion of conventional resources in mind, new water supply sources are desalination (with over 100% growth in the last decade), reuse (with close to 200% growth during the same period), and savings. Right now, 0.18% of water demand in the world is covered by reused water, and the possibilities of expansion are enormous. Although examples of reusing treated wastewater are growing (Namibia; Singapore, California, etc.) except for some social resistance, urban wastewater can have very different uses.

>> Side event. New sources: Wastewater reuse in the framework of sustainable managementPDF document


The objectives of the side event are 1) To give a panoramic view of the possibilities that reuse has as a tool for water management; 2) Review the different usage options that regenerated water offers; and 3) Reflect on the possible barriers against reuse.


The side event will provide a global view of the possibilities for wastewater as a resource. During the seminar, different practical examples of reuse will be presented and other possibilities to recover contaminated substances (organic material, phosphorus, nitrogen) will be examined. Successful projects to reuse water will be set as practical examples in entertainment, industry, aquifer recharge, etc.

Agenda Documento PDF

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The vision

>> Rio+20
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The action

>> Capacity development
>> Financing and economic instruments
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Action on…

>> Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
>> Water Resources Management
>> Water Quality
>> Risk management

14 January: Pre-Conference Side events and Technical Visits

>> Technical visit: La Cartuja
>> Technical visit: The Ebro River Basin Authority and its Automatic System for Hydrologic Information (SAIH)
>> Technical visit: Expo + Water Park
>> New sources: Wastewater reuse
>> Local level actions in decentralized water solidarity towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
>> Water Footprint Assessment
>> Technological advances and Water Policy
>> Cultivando Agua Boa Programme
>> CODIA and water and energy in LAC
>> The fulfillment of the human right to water and sanitation

15 January: Setting the scene and the context

>> Achieving sustainable water for all in LAC
>> Achieving water security for Asia and the Pacific
>> Ensuring implementation of the water-related SDGs in Europe
>> Setting the scene

16 January: Whose action?

>> Academia
>> Business
>> Civil society
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17 January: Integrating knowledge and the way forward

>> Multi-stakeholder dialogue on tools for implementation


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