WEF ReNEW Water Project: Resource Recovery to Fuel and Grow a Circular Economy

The concept of a circular economy has steadily been gaining traction in recent years, especially in the water sector, the idea of which is to reduce the amount of waste produced by creating valuable products out of traditional waste streams. Water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) can directly contribute to a circular economy by producing clean water, nutrients, renewable energy, and other valuable bio-based materials from wastewater. The WEF ReNEW Water Project seeks to create a bold, aspirational, and public call to action to accelerate resource recovery at WRRFs in order to fuel and grow a circular economy in our communities.

ReNEW has two components:

  • Call to Action – Encourage utilities to pursue resource recovery as a way to improve operations, manage risk, and enhance sustainability. WEF seeks to catalyze the recovery of high-value products from wastewater by helping utilities develop business cases for resource recovery and alignment and integration of other related industry efforts
  • Progress and Impact Reports – will be developed on a periodic basis to determine progress towards the US DOE goal, as well as to report on the impact of those utilities creating value from former waste streams. The first Report was the resource recovery baseline released at WEFTEC 2018.

For more information, please contact WEF Technical Programs Manager Morgan Brown at [email protected].

Resource Recovery Baseline

The first-ever analysis of resource recovery by U.S. water utilities shows significant progress in using biosolids and generating energy, but large growth opportunities in water reuse and nutrient capture.

Led by the Water Environment Federation, the ReNEW Water Project utilizes data from national and state databases, publications, and a utility survey, which represents about 25 percent of municipal wastewater flow and about 20 percent of biosolids produced in the U.S.

For more information, please download the full Resource Recovery Baseline Report here

View 2018 baseline press release here.

ReNEW Resource Recovery Scorecard

Interested to see how your utility's resource recovery practices compare with others of a similar size? Download the ReNEW Resource Recovery Scorecard tool, developed by Stantec!

ReNEW Resource Recovery Scorecard

Resource Recovery Roadmaps

Interested in learning more about resource recovery? Please take a look at our roadmaps on nutrients, energy, and water reuse. Primers are available for download below, and full roadmaps are available for purchase at www.e-wef.org.

The ReNEW Resource Recovery Roadmap will be available to download in October 2019!

Champions of Resource Recovery

Starting in October 2019, WEF will be highlighting different Champions of Resource Recovery each month! This will be done using different avenues, including spotlight pieces, webcasts, WE&T articles, fact sheets, and more! Please check back to see the different champions each month.