New ownership models for water and sanitation services

What can the sector learn from circular economy visionary Thomas Rau? | Source: by Cor Dietvorst, IRCWASH blog, June 7 2016 |

On May 25th, the Dutch WASH sector stepped out of its comfort zone to listen to the renowned Dutch architect and circular economy visionary Thomas Rau. The event “Is the end of ownership near? A water and sanitation perspective” was co-organised by VIA Water and IRC.


Thomas Rau and Catarina Fonseca. Photo: IRC

Mr Rau began by emphasising that the term “end of ownership” was actually a misnomer. In his view it is all about manufacturers taking ownership or responsibility for their products.

Thomas Rau confronted the 70 participants at the event with existential questions about our role as temporary guests on earth – a closed system with limited resources. He portrayed nature as a bank, not for money but for materials. Ideally all materials should have an ID so that we can track their (re-)use. Old buildings are material “mines”, new buildings can be transformed into material “depots”. Rau has formulated these principles in the Universal Declaration of Materials Rights, which he plans to submit to the United Nations on 10 December 2017.

Read the complete article.

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