Water 2050 Report

Water 2050 Report

Water 2050 is a collaborative initiative led by AWWA to envision the future of water and chart a course for success and sustainability.

In an effort to bring together diverse voices to explore the water community’s long-term challenges and opportunities, AWWA is hosting a series of think tanks with influential thinkers from within and outside the water sector to examine water’s future through the prism of five core drivers: sustainability, technology, economics, governance and social/demographics.

Water 2050 Sustainability Think Tank

The first of the think tanks convened in September 2022 and focused on sustainability. Participants engaged in facilitated small and large group conversations, private reflection and panel discussions to imagine the future of water and develop a set of recommended actions. The group included highly respected voices from the water and wastewater utility and consulting community, academia, regulatory agencies and the beverage industry, as well as those with interests in agriculture, climate science, environmental advocacy, and innovation incubators, among others.

Recommended Actions

Participants emerged with 10 recommended actions encompassing four broad categories:

  • Implement a new water utility paradigm
  • Establish a climate resilient water future
  • Define the value of water for a new reality
  • Achieve circularity of water

Water 2050 Technology Think Tank

The second think tank was held in December and focused on technology. Participants included representatives from the water and wastewater utility, manufacturing and consulting communities; innovation incubators, Silicon Valley thought leaders, privacy and cybersecurity experts, regulators and academics, CEOs and an agriculture research hydrologist.

Recommended Actions

The group developed recommended actions grouped into four broad categories:

  • Accelerate innovation
  • Transform water services through next-generation technology
  • Apply technology as the "Great Water Equalizer"
  • Achieve a secure cyber future

While the recommended actions are bold, participants acknowledged they are a starting point. They are a promising foundation from which to chisel more detailed actions through future think tanks and other contributions to the Water 2050 initiative.


Get the report(s) summarizing the Water 2050 Think Tanks