This project is a visual exploration of the Dutch waste water sector in 2030. It takes a closer look at the role of waste water processing facilities for the provision of clean water, renewable energy, and valuable material inputs for society of the future. The vision for 2030 concerns the role of waste water management in four major parts of society: the built environment, agriculture, industry, and natural lands.

Tracking the symbiotic flows of services that connect the processing of waste water in the built environment

A Vision for 2030

At the present moment, waste water is treated by large, centralized facilities that function in a relatively linear manner. Grey and black water is treated in a series of processes, and returned to different levels of quality.

However, this configuration of waste water treatment misses out on a wide range of opportunities for making our cities and industries more sustainable. Moving to more integrated, distributed, and multi-functional waste water treatment facilities can help provide cities with clean and renewable energy and heat, industry with valuable raw materials, and agricultural land and urban farms with fertilizers.

Waste water processing can return raw materials, fertilizers and energy to neighboring agricultural industries
Tailored products for industry, including energy, platform chemicals and water, can be derived from the waste water management process

Visualizing the Future

This project is a series of illustrations that visually explore and map the different possible material, energy, and water flows that a waste water treatment facility could manage as a decentralized service provider in 2030. By utilizing current and developing technologies such as heat exchangers, biogasifiers, and precision fertilization of agricultural lands via remote sensing, we lay out an image of what cities, industries, and agriculture might look like in the coming decades.

These illustrations are part of the report Afvalwaterketen Toekomstvisie 2030 (Waste water chain vision for 2030) developed by De Stichtse Rijnlanden in the Netherlands.

This overview diagram shows the envisioned relationship that waste water treatment facilities will have with Dutch cities, industry, agriculture and natural lands

July 2, 2012

Client & Partners

Project team

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Eva Gladek

    Industrial Ecologist
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Matthew Fraser

    Industrial Ecologist, Designer
    Except Integrated Sustainability

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