Water Systems of the Future

AuthoritiesInnovationsWater Systems

Client: Hoogheemraadschap Delfland / Water Authority
EJWP1: September – December 2020

Participants: Mathilde de Jongh, Rhys Hellin, Hedviga Horvathova and Ingrid Keupers

Project description

Water Authority Delfland whishes to investigate how different regions in Europe view their future water system as climate change presents us with many challenges. For example, how do we take care of the increasing number of showers, but also of the dry summers that increasingly prevent us from having sufficient water? Hence, the following question was raised: What would the fresh water system of the future look like, in physical properties as well as in governance structures?


A team of 4 participants from Slovakia,Wales, Netherlands and Belgium used extreme thinking to describe different possible future water systems for their respective regions. To achieve this, an analysis was made of the trends and developments that are currently occurring in Europe using PESTEL (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal) framework.


Among the trends that were seen as important for most regions where; climate change and urbanization. Trends that were very typical for only one region were for example increased activity in the underground in Delfland or the increased recreational use of water in Košice. Based on extreme thinking on these trends a possible story of a future water system in the different regions was created. During the presentation of the project these stories were drawn in real time.


The information has been used by the client to improve the image of a future water system. Delfland together with other stakeholders will continue working together on a future-proof watersystem for the region.

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Gonzalo Delacámara, PhD is a Senior Researcher Fellow on water economics with IMDEA Water in Spain, and an advisor to multilateral organizations including the European Commission, OECD, World Bank and selected UN organizations. Gonzalo is working with EJWP participants through his position as leader of the Vision Leadership Team on the Value of Water with Water Europe. He is heading up the masterclass and projects on the Value of Water with Groups 1 and 2 of EJWP.

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