Trend exploration and horizon scanning assist the water sector recognise and strategically respond to future threats and opportunities. KWR explores new societal and technological developments, determines their impact on the water sector, conducts scenario studies and, working with the sector, develops the required response strategies. Research into trends and horizon scanning help the water sector in seeing issues from a broad perspective, processing information rapidly and applying it strategically.
Using trends to exploit opportunities
Driven by the desire to work with ever greater efficiency and sustainability, the water sector sees that the context within which it operates is constantly changing. Water companies prepare themselves for pressing questions, such as rising energy costs, growing involvement by (vocal) citizens, increasing regulation, changes on the workfloor and more. At the same time, opportunities exist for better integration with other sectors in the circular economy. The translation of trends and future scenarios via impact studies into strategic building blocks, enables the water sector to tackle problems efficiently and optimally exploit emerging opportunities.
Thorough horizon scanning
KWR helps the water sector in monitoring trends and by conducting futures studies. Thanks to an extensive national and international network, we are optimally equipped for thorough horizon scanning. We evaluate the implications of research outcomes for the water sector, offer planners insight into strategies, formulate research questions for research agenda setters, and develop scenarios and response strategies. All of this with a view to a water-wise future for our society.
With our horizon scanning KWR makes innovations in the following areas visible:
- Applications at the interface of technology fields
- Scarcity distribution
- Links between energy and raw material streams
- Technical connections between humans and their environment
- Influence of citizens on society
- Organisation of urban socio-biophysical processe
Our approach to knowledge development is a trans-disciplinary one, in which practical experience and science work hand-in-hand (e.g., through social learning and think-tank sessions). The translation of trends into opportunities and threats for the water sector takes place collaboratively and involves waterboards, water companies, knowledge institutions, advocacy groups and consultancies. Moreover, our research is cross-border: we translate methods for strategic learning alliances for applications in a European context.
Support for the future
Research into trends and horizon scanning help the water sector in seeing issues from a broad perspective, processing information rapidly and applying it strategically. Effective response strategies provide direction to social developments in the urban watercycle. The understanding of the opportunities and threats associated with these developments supports decision-makers, agenda setters, researchers and developers in defining a future-proof strategy.