From Rio to Roskilde
Lack of fresh water has been identified as one of the top global risks by the World Economic Forum in terms of likelihood and impact (WEF, 2015).1 However, water shortage is not only a risk. Water also constitutes a major business opportunity.2 Throughout the world, researchers and practitioners are exploring new avenues for better utilization of the world’s scarce water resources.
The purpose of this project is to conduct an experiment which examines how used water can be reclaimed and transformed into new, clean water (hereafter new water), that can be used for industry or drinking water. Of key interest is how consumers/festival participants perceive and respond to new water solutions and how they can be ‘nudged’ by visualization, defaults, incentives, and communication. New technologies are not enough.3 The technologies also have to be disseminated, accepted, and adopted on the market.
The project objective is to raise awareness of new water and run a real-life experiment of reclaimed water. More specifically, a shower facility based on new water will be installed at the Roskilde Festival. Used water from one shower station will be cleaned and used as new water for another shower station before finally ending in the sewerage system. The researchers will track how much the shower facility is used and how the guests perceive new water showering. Moreover, the researchers will work on ways to communicate new water to influence participant perceptions and practices. Energy use and impact on water consumption will also be measured.
The shower facility will be installed at the 2015 Roskilde Festival. If successful, we hope to repeat the experiment at the festival in 2016 and 2017. The project may also be expanded with more shower facilities or introduced in new areas (food, sanitation etc.). Moreover, it is relevant to consider possibilities for applying the solutions outside the festival context. However, repetitions and expansions of the initiative are not covered in the present budget.
The project will be part of the R2R initiative (www.riotilroskilde.dk). R2R is a strategic research partnership between CBS and Roskilde Festival which aims at using the festival as a city lab for sustainable innovation. In addition to water solutions, the project also looks at food, waste, and housing solutions. Each area has participation of private/public actors involved in sustainable solutions. In addition to research, R2R also hosts workshops and seminars related to the different focus areas. The project will therefore be integrated in the wider efforts to develop new solutions for sustainable cities.
Department of Intercultural Communication and Management