Water, minerals, energy… three of our most precious and vital resources – essential for life and our daily lives. Our demand and consumption of all three is growing rapidly, meaning we consume more than the earth can produce. A recent info graphic from the NextGen team gives an overview of the processes and NextGen solutions closing the loop
By 2030 global water demand is expected to exceed supply by 40% and approximately half of the world’s population will suffer from water stress. And not only drier regions and cities are affected: Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Italy, France and Germany count among countries facing high or very high water stress.
A more sustainable management and use of water can help to avoid water crises and stress becoming a daily challenge; but there are also vast amounts of hidden potential to unlock from water.
Scientists, researchers and companies in the NextGen project are working on innovative ways to use and reuse water rather than letting it go to waste. These technologies and knowledge to use them effectively are being developed in demonstration cases across Europe.
NextGen technologies act on critical parts of the water – materials – energy nexus and optimise the entire system. They make water management more efficient and can keep resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them.
Eat, drink and stay warm: just a few benefits
Previously wasted or ignored resources don’t just help save our environment, NextGen solutions help capture or create many applications and benefits to our daily lives. This includes working to mine valuable nutrients, reusing water and minerals or even producing gas, heat and generating electricity.
NextGen: bringing the circular economy to life
A circular economy keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them. It works to recover and regenerate products and materials rather than disposing of them after use. This replaces the traditional linear economy, where we take resources, make something and dispose of it as waste. NextGen brings this approach to life for the water sector.