Circulatory Pathways in the Water and Wastewater Sector in the Latin American Region

Publication Date: 
14 March 2023
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
6: This article belongs to the Special Issue: Sustainable Water Futures: Climate, Community and Circular Economy

The Circular Economy (CE) is noted as an emerging framework to support sustainable production and consumption agendas. In addition, the CE aims to be a trigger for redefining economic growth pathways as sustainable, inclusive, and sensitive to ecological and environmental agendas, and to focus its operational standards on co-creating societal benefits. Concerning the guiding principles and the standards of practice applied to implement and scale circular economy, this study will provide an overview of water sector-specific circularity roadmaps and strategies in the Latin American Region (LAR). By using a semi-systematic review, document analysis, and qualitative assessment approach, we highlight framings and operational pathways, gaps, and needs within existing practices of circularity in the water sector. The results provide an overview of CE pathways at the national level of selected countries in the LAR, urging those nations to reflect various levels of advancement (low to high) with CE-focused innovations and policy support structures specific to the water and wastewater sectors. Towards the end, the study points to the ‘call for action’ to integrate outstanding advances and innovations in the circular economy within sectoral mandates for water and wastewater management, making an argument that circularity in the water sector could serve as an accelerator towards implementing the agenda outlined in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular for SDG 6 (water security for all).


This is an open access article.

circular economy; water; wastewater; resource use; Latin America