The dilemmas of water use

‘What do the changes in the water system mean for the water cycle?'
illustratie van de waterkringloop uit 'Wijs met Water' The water cycle from the report with its ten types (and nine ‘colors’) of water. Illustration: WUR.

The transition to a circular food system involves water too. Water should therefore get a more prominent place in the food system of the future. And the Netherlands has some key decisions to make.

That is the message you get from the ‘Wise with Water’ report that Wageningen Bioveterinary Research presented last week to the Ministry of Agriculture, which commissioned the study. ‘What do the changes in the water system mean for the water cycle, but also for health, biodiversity and the well-being of humans and animals in the Netherlands? We show all that in this report,’ explains project coordinator Adriaan Anthonis.

The report describes the water cycle at the macro level, distinguishing between water’s different manifestations (‘colours’), ranging from ‘white’ water droplets in the atmosphere to ‘black’ sewage water that contains the excrement of humans and animals. The researchers also selected real-life stories about water for the report to show the opportunities offered by responsible water consumption and the threats from irresponsible usage.

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