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Future Water: A Multi-University International Web Seminar


“Historically, water utilities have relied on tried-and-true practices in the design and operation of their infrastructure, tapping new resources and expanding networks as needed. However, as the effects of climate change and/or urbanization increasingly impact both water supply and demand, utilities need new, holistic planning and management approaches. Integrated planning approaches must account for changing policies, technological progress, and unique, setting-specific operating conditions. Based on this notion, an international web seminar with faculty, researchers, and students from nine universities across five continents was conducted. In the 3-month seminar, participants were split into groups and tasked with developing future-proof, sustainable water management solutions for fictitious settings with unique resource availability, climate change predictions, demographic, and socioeconomic constraints. The goal of the seminar was to combine participants’ unique perspectives to tackle challenges in developing future water infrastructure, while forming lasting relationships. Water management concepts became more daring or “out-of-the-box” as the seminar progressed. Most groups opted for a holistic approach, optimizing existing infrastructure, integrating decentralized water management, furthering digitization, and fostering the adoption of innovative policy and planning strategies. To gauge their impact on the evolution of ideas, group dynamics and communication were observed throughout the seminar. As a result, the findings serve not only as a compendium of ideas and concepts for holistic design in the water sector, but also facilitate international collaboration, improve communication in cross-cultural teams or guide the development of training programs in water management for researchers, professional engineers, or water utilities.”

(Citation: Pointl, M., Marques, J., Pick, F.C., Salcedo, C., Vertommen, I., Zeidan, M., et al. – Future Water: A Multi-University International Web Seminar – Water 2024, 16(13), 1862;

© 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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