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Circular economy implementation in the urban water sector

Our project aimed to develop and apply a circular economy assessment methodology to Anglian Water’s Shop Window initiative in Newmarket (“Shop Window”), where innovation is being driven across the entire man-made water cycle.

The circularity assessment we developed provided a quantitative measure of the circularity performance and helped determine the most sustainable, low-cost and low environmental footprint solutions for maximising the quality and sustainability of the water services. Our circularity analysis evaluated the potential to retain and valorise the water-related energy, nutrient and material value among the whole water supply chain, minimised waste flows and revealed the key intersections with the different interrelated supply chains. That, in turn, revealed the wider benefits of achieving the project’s aspirational goals and supported the decision making process.

The assessment was based on existing frameworks of material flow analysis, life cycle assessment and life cycle costing and this way took into account the material, environmental and economic dimensions and identify customers’ and stakeholders’ roles to foster the circular economy transition.

On completion of the project, Anglian Water was able to communicate the results, enhance the visibility of the project and promote the Shop Window’s circularity model as a pioneer for circular economy implementation in the urban water sector.

The 4 Phases of the project are summarized as follows:

  • Phase A: Shop Window’s baseline circularity assessment and methodology development
  • Phase B: Preliminary assessment and ranking of Shop Window technologies and practices
  • Phase C: Technology circularity assessment and scenario analysis
  • Phase D: Development of an assessment tool

View a video about the Innovation Shop Window below, produced by Anglian Water.

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Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Evina Katsou - Academic / Research Career Dr Evina Katsou is Professor in Water & Environmental Engineering and Course Director of the Water Engineering MSc at Brunel University. Evina leads the Water & Environmental Engineering group with 20 researchers. Her research is focused on: (1) Sustainable resource recovery from wastewater and safe reuse; (2) Data analytics, knowledge discovery and process modelling; and (3) Circularity & sustainability measurement and assessment. Authored 98 journal publications (h-index: 27), 12 book chapters with over 100 presentations, invited talks and patent on biopolymers recovery. Evina leads the Transformation Tools group of the Cost Action on Circular Cities, co-leads the Circular Water VLT of Water Europe and co-leads the SMART-WATER group of the ICT4Water Cluster-EC. She is a member of the drafting team of the new ISO standards on Circular Economy (Measuring and Assessing Circularity – ISO5902). She leads 11 national and international projects including activities on carbon footprint accounting and carbon neutrality Within projects RESILEX Horizon Europe, SYMBIOREM Horizon Europe (WP leader), BORECER HORIZON Europe (WP leader), HYDROUSA H2020, SmartPlant H2020, DEEP-Purple (DSS development and circularity assessment), WATER-MINING (H2020; WP leader), BL2F (H2020; WP Leader), INTCATCH (H2020), iWAYS (SPIRE H2020), Triple Carbon Reduction – OFWAT, she is responsible of the WPs related with the development and application of tools/solutions for the sustainability assessment including carbon footprint quantification and minimization. Evina has also conducts wide range of consulting activities with contracts awarded from leading UK water industry partners, including Affinity Water, Arup, Sever Trent, BuroHappold Engineering, Anglian Water. Industrial Activities UKWIR Tender - Quantifying and reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment processes; Jacobs, Brunel, Cobalt Water; 2021-22 OFWAT WATER INNOVATION Competitions; Triple Carbon Reduction; Anglian Water; 2022-24 UKWIR Tender - What does a circular economy water industry look like? Jacobs, Brunel, Allied Waters; 2020-21 UKWIR Tender - Where is the greatest sustainable economic benefit for resource recovery in the water cycle? Jacobs, Brunel, Allied Waters; 2020-21 Determination of the most effective & low-cost solution for tackling the problem of galvanized iron corrosion in specific parts of the Affinity Water piping network, which is caused by the surface water imported from Grafham reservoir; October 2018 for a duration of 16 months, Value: £90,000 Feasibility study Aqualogic AI inspired Leak Detection and Analysis, 2019-2020 Value: £100,000 Towards Carbon neutral and Cost-efficient Sewage Treatment (CO2ST); Severn Trent, 2019-2021, Value: £150,000 Circular Shop Window, Anglian Water, March 2019 for a duration of 14 months, Value: £100,000 MBR design and start-up, Astana, Nazarbayev University, June 2019 for a duration of 6 months, Value: £20,000 Technical support for the chemical-physical-respirometric control & preliminary evaluation of an EGSB reactor for the treatment of wastewater from textile industry, 40,000 Euros, SIMEM SpA, 2014              Technical support for the evaluation & optimization of the wastewater treatment plant (technical & economic data) of the pharmaceutical company Fidia Farmaceutici SpA, Abano Terme (PD), 25,000 Euros 2013-2014. Monitoring of the current treatment processes & capacity of the municipal wastewater treatment plant of Maser Municipality (TV, Italy); examination & evaluation of the potential co-treatment of wastewater from the Municipality of Asolo (TV, Italy); feasibility study & technical aspects, Alto Trevigiano Servizi Srl, InnovEn srl, 15,000 Euros 2013-2014.  
Dr Peyo Stanchev

Related Research Group(s)

Flood, Coastal and Water Engineering

Flood, Coastal and Water Engineering - The Flood, Coastal and Water Engineering Group addresses the challenges of water scarcity, aging water infrastructures and flood management in the UK and worldwide. The group also concentrates on providing research solutions for recycling water and offering sustainable water resources for domestic and industrial uses.


Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.


Project last modified 18/12/2020