- Understand the potential of wastewater as a resource in the form of energy, reusable water, biosolids, and other resources, such as nutrients.
- Learn how resource recovery represents an economic and financial benefit that contributes to the sustainability of water supply and sanitation systems and the water utilities operating them.
- Find best practices and examples of projects and programs that promote the implementation of one or several circular economy principles.
This report summarizes the work of the World Bank’s initiative “Wastewater: from Waste to Resource,” launched in 2018 to raise awareness among decision makers regarding the potential of wastewater as a resource. The report highlights the findings and conclusions from six technical background papers and from an in-depth analysis of several case studies. The case studies illustrate international best practices and provide examples of projects and programs that promote the implementation of one or several circular economy principles. The initiative involved a participatory process, including multiple consultations and workshops with key stakeholders working on wastewater management projects in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. A key regional workshop was organized in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2018 together with CAF, where counterparts from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay participated. The initiative’s findings have also been presented at several international conferences, raising awareness of the issue and promoting dialogue among governments, international organizations, and the private sector. Feedback from these events and from the workshops enabled the team to shape the main messages of the initiative into more practical recommendations.
The purpose of this report is to share the knowledge created and the conclusions from the initiative with stakeholders and practitioners involved in wastewater planning, financing, and management (including water utilities, policy makers, basin organizations, and ministries of planning and finance) to encourage a paradigm shift in which the value proposition of wastewater in a circular economy is recognized.