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The "blue economy" is a concept that envisages the more effective and efficient use and management of water resources within a more sustainable circular economy. Global water security is being threatened by growing demand, by limited, unpredictable, or contaminated local supplies, and by increased uncertainty and variability in supply from climate change. Meeting these challenges requires the development and implementation of innovative water technology and, at the same time, requires behavioural changes. While these push/supply and pull/demand factors ideally work together, they often lack the necessary institutional-economic coordination and governance structures.
In moving towards a blue economy, various disciplinary perspectives need to be integrated to develop evidence-based economic, technological, institutional, and political approaches and mechanisms to reconcile economic prosperity with improvements to human health and long-term environmental sustainability.
- determining the value of water and aquatic ecosystem services
- defining market-based instruments for water management, including water pricing
- linking and integrating water accounts and economic accounting systems
- developing integrated hydro-economic models to support water decision-making and policy at the watershed scale
- studying the treatment of water risks and opportunities in corporate water management
- calculating the water footprint of organizations and products
- developing smarter and more efficient water technologies and systems
- defining innovative transboundary water governance models