Pieter van Staveren
Business Developer Logisticon Water Treatment
1. What are in your view the economic values of water?
The value of water in a broad spectrum is that water is essential for all of us. It is needed for life & health, as a medium for general transport and also energy transport (cooling down, heating up), growth, manufacturing, cleaning and just fun & relaxation. We need it to live, and need it in our economy.
2. Should we always look at water-related problems from an economic perspective, and should that be a deciding factor?
Most of the people that use water are not aware of what is needed to produce and transport safe drinking water, make high quality water for production and manufacturing and to treat wastewater up to a level that can be discharged into the environment in a sustainable way. Next to the economic value of water the environmental value of water gets more and more important. Until recently, water-related problems were often looked at from an economic perspective. Water is still one of the cheapest transport media to get rid of waste. Discharging used water into the environment without cleaning luckily is not accepted anymore.
3. Is the so-called circular economy a challenge or a solution for the water sector, and for Logisticon in particular?
The idea of the circular economy is progressively introduced and gives us enough challenges and possibilities to grow our business. But the circular economy only brings us the opportunity of re-using the water repeatedly. This keeps our heads down focussing at the actual problems and possible solutions. This is a short/medium term solution. Looking into the far future, we need to look up and find out how we can make more use of water than is momentarily done. Can (relatively cheap) water play an important role to solve our energy and environmental problems? For instance; can water be used as an energy battery, reduce CO₂ emissions, cool down the Earth? These topics are not on the people’s agenda, but should be. The current status of the political value of water, the way I see it, is too low. Water should have a high political value. This enables us to reserve money and resources to develop future solutions.
4. Should universities offer students courses dealing with economic policy instruments?
Combining the technical, economical, social and foremost political perspectives in the courses on all universities, and so developing a broader view on the future, is one of the first steps that can be made. Next to this an economical, social and political model should be developed in which water plays the role of constantly increasing added value.