Mapping out value coalitions in the drinking water chain

In the GRROW (Generational Radical Rethinking Of the Water Sector) project, a young generation of drinking water professionals is exploring the future of the water system. The first phase of this project was to radically rethink the current drinking water infrastructure and its institutional foundations. A recently published H20 article presented the results of this project activity.

Through an ‘Intergenerational Dialogue’, young professionals exchanged views with professionals who have been working in the drinking water industry for more than a decade. The main aim of this dialogue was to identify the wide range of ways in which people view drinking water systems. These views are elements of ‘value coalitions’, shared value systems underlying how professionals act in a particular policy area.

Three perspectives on the drinking water system

Reflecting on the dialogues that took place results in three different perspectives on the drinking water system: a linear perspective, a network perspective and a circular perspective. These perspectives or value coalitions help us to understand better how professionals think about the water system, what activities they consider relevant and what they believe are the main challenges that need to be addressed in the near future and thereafter.


On the basis of these insights, young professionals were able to radically rethink the fundamentals of the current system in an initial workshop on 7 July 2022 at KWR. The goals and standards that were formulated also served as support for a second workshop that took place on 11 October.  At that second workshop, GRROW participants met at Dunea in Zoetermeer to redesign the water system of the future.