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VOL 01 / 1 MARCH 2018





Leading cities are implementing

More water will be required for food

Water utilities are using smart

resilience-building strategies

production. At the same time water

technology to manage scarce

quality is impacted.

resources efficiently.


Mark and Focus M a r k a nd Fo c u s cover s bo th th e r is k s a n d o p po r tu nities th e wo r l d ’s m ega -tren ds prov ide.

I N T R O DU C T I ON In the 21st Century, the world faces a wide array of mega-trends including climate change and rapid population and economic growth. With resources becoming scarce global economic and social stability is threatened. Mark and Focus covers both the risks and opportunities these mega-trends provide to business, governance, and society.

CO N TAC T M E LINKEDIN : Robert Brears TWITTER : @Markandfocus FACEBOOK : @markandfocus











01 RESILIENT CITIES To b eco m e m o re resil ient to c l im ate c h a n ge, l ea din g ci t ies a re im pl em ent in g a va r iet y o f m itigatio n a n d a da p tatio n s trategies.

In the 21st century, cities around the world

ing operations), environmental (improved

will face increasing pressure on resources

water quality from pollutants being filtered

and infrastructure from climate change.

out, reduced emissions, greater protection

To ensure cities continue to be the center

from flood risks), and social (improved

of global economic activity and happiness

access to green spaces for physical and rec-

cities need to become resilient to all types

reational activity).

of shocks both natural and man-made, where resilience is defined as the capacity

Two leading cities implementing a variety

of cities to function and thrive no matter

of adaptation and mitigation strategies to

what stresses or shocks they encounter.

become resilient to climate change are Hamburg and Rotterdam.

To become more resilient to climate change-related extreme weather events,

Hamburg: Adapting to climate change while

cities need to embrace adaptation strate-

mitigating emissions

gies. At the same time, cities are contrib-

Hamburg’s new development, HafenCity,

uting towards climate change and so they

located along the River Elbe, is being trans-

need to explore ways of mitigating their

formed from a mainly derelict, former dock-

emissions from new urban developments.

land site into a lively city with a maritime

The benefits of adaptation and mitigation

environment that combines working, living,

include economic (creation of green jobs,

culture, leisure, tourism, and shopping. The

lower utility bills from more efficient build-

development, covering nearly 160 ha, will



have 7,000 homes for 12,000 residents along with commercial developments that will offer more than 45,000 jobs. By the 2020s when it will be completed, HafenCity will have resulted in Hamburg’s city center being enlarged by around 40%. HafenCity lies in the south of the main Hamburg dike and therefore has no protection from storm surges. During the planning phase, it was agreed that surrounding HafenCity with dikes would create disadvantages for the district, including depriving residents and visitors of sight lines to the water as well as numerous technological and economic challenges of constructing a dike before any buildings had been constructed: hampering successive development of the district. To protect itself from storm surges all buildings in HafenCity are built on artificially structured plinths that are compacted to a height of 8-9 meters above sea level. In the interior of HafenCity, the plinths provide ample space for underground carparks, reducing the amount of car parking space required in the streets of the new development. Meanwhile, to ensure vital infrastructure is out of harm’s way, all streets and bridges are sited at flood-protected levels, at least 7.8-8.5 meters above sea level, so even during a storm surge traffic within HafenCity, as well as between HafenCity and the inner city, can flow uninterrupted. HafenCity has established an Ecolabel for buildings that realize sustainability in their designs including lowering of energy consumption. There are two types of Ecolabels awarded – ‘silver’ or ‘gold’ – to buildings that have achieved ‘special’ or ‘excellent’ ratings in the five categories of: (1) Sustainable management of energy resources (a significant reduction of primary energy consumption (well below statutory requirements) for running a building), (2) Sustainable management of public goods (for instance, advanced sanitary equipment to reduce water consumption), (3) Use of eco-friendly construction materials (buildings must be free of materials containing halogen, volatile solvents or biocides and all tropical wood must stem from certified, sustainable sources), (4) Special consideration of health and well-being (rooms in buildings need to have comfortable temperatures, contain non-allergenic fixtures and fittings, and offer sound insulation), and (5) Sustainable facility operations (buildings should have low-maintenance requirements and have a monitoring certificate that shows the actual consumption of energy in the building’s first two years of operation). In all cases, it is mandatory for buildings awarded an Ecolabel to fulfill the conditions of category 1 (sustainable management of energy resources).


To receive silver, buildings incorporate ecological qualities that generate either no extra costs if stipulated at an early stage of the construction process or additional construction costs if they are economically justifiable, while gold-labeled buildings incorporate extraordinary innovative measures. Moving forwards, buildings that include residential uses will only be able to be built if they comply with the gold standard ecolabel. Rotterdam: A climate proof city Rotterdam’s Climate Initiative Adaptation Strategy aims to create a city that is ‘attractive, economically strong, and climate proof’. The Strategy has four core parts to it. First, ensure the city’s urban water system is in good working order through active maintenance and where necessary upgrading of the system to reduce the city’s vulnerability to flooding. Second, reduce the pressure on the system by creating underground water storage spaces and link these to other urban activities, for example, an underground water storage facility doubling as an underground car park. Above ground green roofs, urban vegetation, and water squares are used to temporarily store and release very slowly excess water ensuring infrastructure is not damaged. Third, encourage and support the participation of all stakeholders in climate change adaptation, for example, Rotterdam is promoting the ‘Tile out, Green in’ initiative in which inhabitants are encouraged to replace their paving in their own gardens with plants and vegetation. The purpose of this is to create a shared responsibility between public and private landowners for the collection of excess rainfall. Fourth, add value to the environment, society, economy, and ecology through adaptation projects. Meanwhile, Rotterdam‘s Programme on Sustainability and Climate Change will guide the city’s attempts to accelerate and upscale activities that will enhance the local economy by creating ‘green jobs’ and make the city healthier and more future-proof by 2030. The program lays out a strategy for the city to: - Create a more greener, healthier, and resilient environment (by reducing emissions from transportation; creating more greener spaces; strengthening the city’s flood resilience; and adopting sustainability goals for every spatial development) - Invest in cleaner energy at lower costs (which will result in energy savings for residents and small-to-medium businesses; using heat from industry for district heating initiatives; and increasing wind and solar power generation) - Build a strong and innovative economy (by promoting clean technology opportunities; developing large-scale infrastructure to recover heat and waste; developing a bio-based economy that creates biofuels; and using cleaner transportation fuels) To further mitigate emissions, Rotterdam will aim to create 350 MW of wind power within the municipal boundaries by 2025, of which 300 MW will be generated in the port area. Overall, 350 MW is enough to power 200,000 households per annum. Regarding solar power, current estimates show the city has the potential to generate approximately 1,500 GWh of solar energy. To tap into this, Rotterdam will encourage, facilitate, and support residents to achieve the goal of covering 4,500 homes with solar panels by 2018. In addition, the city will be negotiating agreements with Housing Associations to achieve the goal of covering at least 1,500 homes with solar panels. The overall goal is that by 2030, Rotterdam will generate 1,000 GWh of solar-power, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. The take-out To enhance resilience to climate change, cities can implement plans that simultaneously adapt to and mitigate climate change.


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02 WAT E R - F O O D Wi t h r ising p o pu l at io n grow th th ere is in c rea s in g dem a n d fo r fo o d. At the sa m e tim e, a gr ic ul ture pro duc tio n is im p a c t in g water qua l it y.

With the global population projected to

In addition, while agricultural production is

reach 9 billion in 2050, demand for food is

not the only activity that can adversely im-

expected to increase by over 50% in 2030

pact freshwater quality, it is an important

and 70% in 2050. Already agriculture is the

one. There may be surface runoff of pes-

largest user of water with irrigation ac-

ticides, fertilizers, and manure, or leaching

counting for nearly 70% of all freshwater

of nitrogen into the groundwater, and from

withdrawals. It is estimated that to meet

there into surface water bodies.

this increased demand for food, global agricultural water consumption will increase

To reduce water-nexus pressures, many lo-

by around 19% by 2050, but this figure

cations around the world are implementing

could be higher if crop yields and the ef-

innovative policies to encourage efficient

ficiency of agricultural production does not

agricultural and food production as well as

improve dramatically. At the same time,

reduce adverse impacts on water quality.

global demand for water is projected to

Two such examples are San Francisco and

exceed supply by 40% in 2030 and 55% in


2050 because of climate change and nonclimatic trends including rapid urbaniza-

San Francisco becoming food-secure

tion, economic growth, rising income lev-

In San Francisco, the city has committed it-

els, and increased demand for energy.

self to a food secure and hunger-free city by 2020. The challenges of achieving this


WATER-FOOD goal is ensuring adequate food resources (the ability to purchase sufficient nutritional food on a regular basis), food access (the ability to obtain affordable, nutritious, and culturally sensitive food), and food consumption (the ability to prepare healthy meals and knowledge of basic safe cooking). To help urban agriculture become more efficient in production – more crop per drop – the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) encourages applications for its Pilot Community Garden Irrigation Meter Grant Program to enable urban farms, as well as community and demonstration gardens, to track and manage irrigation water use. With a maximum grant of $10,000, the program enables the installation of a dedicated irrigation service and meter to track irrigation water use as well as enable users to separately shut off the irrigation system if needed. To be eligible for SFPUC’s grant proposed activities must meet one of the following criteria: - An urban agricultural project with proof of receiving, or intent to receive, a change-of-use permit from the San Francisco Planning Department under its Urban Agricultural Ordinance approving an urban agricultural site - A small-scale urban market garden designed and operated for urban food production - A community garden sponsored by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department with a signed Community Garden Plot Agreement - A garden established for demonstration or other educational purposes Denmark’s Fertilizer Accounts In Denmark, the country set the goal of reducing nitrogen leaching by 13% and reduce phosphorous surplus by 50% over the period 2002-2015. To achieve these goals and improve water quality, Danish farmers must enter the Register for Fertilizer Account if their annual turnover relating to agricultural activity is more than DKK 50,000 (EUR 6,600) and they meet at least one of the following conditions of: - Having more than 10 livestock units - Having more than 1.0 livestock unit per hectare - Receiving more than 25 tons of livestock manure Farmers who enter the Register are required to prepare a fertilizer plan and keep it for 5 years; calculate the nitrogen-quota for the farm; and submit a Fertilizer Account. The Fertilizer Account contains information about: - Area sizes and type of crops (the area size of the farm is the sum of the cultivated, uncultivated, and set aside areas) - The nitrogen standard for the crop (all crops are given a nitrogen standard) - The calculated nitrogen quota for the farm (the nitrogen quota of the farm is the sum of nitrogen quota of each field, where the field nitrogen quota is calculated based on the size and the nitrogen standard, and the overall nitrogen quota of the farm provides the amount of fertilizer (manure and chemical fertilizer) that can be applied on the farm) - Number of livestock units and type of livestock (animal type and number and the type of housing, feedstuffs, production etc. so that the amount of nitrogen in the manure produced can be calculated) - Use of fertilizers (both livestock manure and chemical fertilizer) - Delivery of chemical fertilizer (farmers must report the amount and type of fertilizer supplied) - Exchange of fertilizer or manure (farmers can exchange fertilizer to other farmers who are in the Register) - Manure and fertilizer stock (opening and closing stock for the growing season should be calculated annually) Each year the Danish AgriFish Agency will visit around 1% of the farms and an administrative control is run on around 4% of the farmers that submit a Fertilizer Account. Farmers who are registered are then allowed to buy chemical fertilizer without paying tax on fertilizer (EUR 0.66 per kg of nitrogen). Meanwhile, farmers with an annual turnover between DKK 20,000 (EUR 2,600) and DKK 50,000 may voluntarily enter the Register. The take-out A mix of grants and taxes can be used to encourage more efficient agricultural production while limiting the industry’s impact on water quality.




03 SMART H20 CITIES With 6 6 % o f th e wo r l d ur ba n ized by m id- cent u r y, c it ies w il l n eed to beco m e s m a r ter in their u se of s c a rce water res o urces.

By 2050, one in four people are likely to live

A key part of the ICT network is smart

in a country which is affected by chronic or

meters, which enable water utilities to

recurring water shortages due to numer-

conduct regular meter reads of custom-

ous pressures including climate change and

ers throughout the day, provide customers

rapid urbanization. In fact, by then 66% of

with real-time water consumption data, as

the world’s population will be urbanized,

well as quickly detect water losses in the

up from 54% today. Therefore, cities will

system – non-revenue water – which can be

need to become smarter in how they man-

up to 20% or more in many cities around

age their precious water resources.

the world.

In a smart water city, water utilities are us-

Singapore’s smart water network

ing Information and Communication Tech-

Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) is

nology (ICT) solutions to minimize water

trialing a smart water network in which

consumption by capturing real-time water

the utility will collect detailed data on

consumption data; communicating this

household water consumption to build

data to control centers for processing; ana-

customer consumption profiles and iden-

lyzing the data to form actionable insights;

tify consumption patterns and trends.

and acting on this analysis to make deci-

The data will then be analyzed and pro-

sions or influence user behavior.

vided to customers enabling them to monitor their water usage patterns and better


S MAR T H20 CITIES manage water consumption. PUB will also customize its engagement strategy by incentivizing customers to conserve water, for instance, setting water saving goals and tracking the efficiency of their water usage based on their consumption profiles. This is part of an experiment to see if elements of game playing are more effective at engaging and motivating customers to conserve water than increasing tariffs. Austin Water’s smart water meter trials Austin Water has begun trialing the installation of 160 smart meters in parts of the River Place and Glenlake neighborhoods. The trial, which began in 2016 and is ongoing, is important as it will enable the utility to determine the benefits and feasibility of replacing over 200,000 regular meters. The overall goal of the program is to bring greater accuracy and reliability to the meter reading process and eventually provide more timely water usage data to Austin Water customers. The participants fall into two groups, with participants in River Place chosen at random while Glenlake participants were identified as properties of concern. As part of the trial, both sets of participants receive online access to their daily water usage, including leak notifications and statistics. Specifically, all participating customers can access a Water Scope customer portal enabling them to: - View their water consumption in 5-minute intervals with the graph able to be set for daily/monthly/custom periods - Download the data once per day - See where they are using water (domestic use, irrigation use, and possible leaks) - Compare their usage against the water budget to show progress towards the monthly goal - Click on links for additional water conservation information - Set up email notifications on potential leaks, high usage, and unexpected usage Consumption data has been broken down into three categories (irrigation, leakage, and domestic). Irrigation has been defined as sustained use of over 8 gallons per minute, while leaks are the total continuous flows and repeated intermittent flows that the software has been programmed to identify. Domestic usage is all other water usage. Each household has been set a water budget which is the average monthly water demand for the 160 homes in the smart meter pilot study group. This budget has been set as the benchmark for customers to be able to gauge their water consumption. The budget is made up of domestic (indoor) and irrigation (outdoor) use. The domestic portion is based on the month with the lowest average daily usage of indoor water. The irrigation part is based on average monthly irrigation demands for an average-sized yard. Austin Water has developed the Dropcountr which provides free, digital water reports to homeowners via mobile app and/or Internet and includes a customized household water use profile, information about past water use compared to similar households, utility bill rate tiers, tips on ways to save water, and links to Austin Water conservation programs. When setting a water savings goal, Dropcountr compares the household with ‘similar’ households. A similar household is one that is like the customer’s home in terms of property size and number of residents. The data comes from census and county data along with participant-provided information to identify similar households. Users can compare their water use to similar households in a 5-mile radius. Dubai’s smart meters Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is installing smart meters across the Emirate enabling customers to receive realtime information on water and energy consumption. This will enable them to monitor actual consumption to better understand and manage bills. DEWA’s smart meters will provide customers with historical consumption data as well as a breakdown of consumption processes that use water and energy. This will enable customers to identify water and energy efficiencies in their homes. The smart meter data is delivered to customers’ smartphones or tablets via DEWA’s Smart App, allowing them to view billing information, graphs to check and compare consumption as well as set caps for both water and electricity consumption. Overall DEWA aims to have 1.2 million meters installed within 5 years. The installation of the smart meters will be in two stages: (1) 200,000 smart meters will be installed all over Dubai which will be connected to a new advanced computerized system and software. (2) DEWA will install the remaining smart meters. Enhancements of the operating system will be performed in conjunction with increasing the number of installed meters.


MyWaterToronto Toronto Water has developed the MyWaterToronto water meter program in which customers can view their water use information anytime, anywhere, from a computer or mobile device. Customers can log on to their MyWaterToronto to view their total and average water use by day, month or year in an easy-to-read graph or chart format. Boxes can also be checked to add extra details including temperature and precipitation, so water users can better understand why they have used more or less water during a particular time period. DC Water’s High Water Usage Alert DC Water has developed a High Water Usage Alert system that notifies registered My DC Water customers if their water usage is higher than normal. The service is connected to a tool that tracks how much water a customer uses on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. Once DC Water has tracked a customer’s water usage for a full year, the utility will then let them know if their water usage is significantly higher for four consecutive days. San Francisco’s new My Account SFPUC has installed automated water meters in more than 96% of San Francisco’s 178,000 water accounts. The smart meters transmit hourly water consumption data to the utility’s billing system by a wireless network. The reliable and frequent water usage information allows customers to monitor their use and detect leaks faster than possible compared to the manually-read meters. SFPUC has also created the web portal My Account in which account holders can see their daily water usage data and learn ways to conserve water. The take-out A key aspect of being a smart water city is the use of ICT to provide customers with real-time information on their consumption, enabling them to make informed decisions on where water savings can be made.



Mark and Focus Vol 1 Issue 1  
Mark and Focus Vol 1 Issue 1  

In the 21st Century, the world faces a wide array of mega-trends including climate change and rapid population and economic growth. With res...