Circular water management

All too often, water mistakenly is considered a cheap resource - and wastewater is seen as disposable. This must change.  

By 2030, the world may face a 40% gap in water supply vs demand. At the same time, 80% of wastewater currently goes back into the environment untreated. Now is the time to explore circular water management solutions and prevent these valuable resources from being lost. 

The challenge

Water use has tripled globally since 1950 and demand is growing rapidly. Climate change results in increased water scarcity for business. At the same time, it is estimated that 80% of used water is discharged back to the natural environment untreated. Securing a reliable supply of good quality water while preserving ecosystems and ensuring human needs is becoming of pivotal concern for companies.   

The business case

Circular water management practices are one of the largest untapped opportunities to move from waste to resources within a circular economy. Such practices help companies reach their sustainability targets, save costs and increase efficiency, while at the same time, benefitting the natural ecosystems that business depends on. Companies should consider the true value of water as a resource, and by extension, view wastewater as an important asset. 

The solution

The Business guide to circular water management the barriers to circular water management, key success factors, solutions and tools for implementation. A suite of company case studies displays circular water management in practice. Regional deep-dives, including in the Indian context, are currently being undertaken.  

News and Insights

Next Event

WBCSD Council Meeting 2018

22 - 25 October, 2018,

More Events

WBCSD Council Meeting 2019

14 - 17 October, 2019
, Lisbon, Portugal
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Impact on SDGs

The circular water management project directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 6 (ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastrcture), while being connected to many of the other goals on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Deepa Maggo

Manager, Water

Swapna Patil

Associate, Water