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SEVEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOWABOUT THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY (and the role of water and the subsurface) The world's population is expanding andwe are all usingmore andmore rawmaterials. That requires a waste-free economy inwhich rawmaterials are used again and again, and inwhichwe are economical in our approach towater and the subsurface. Deltares is developing a range of solutions. BY THESSA LAGEMAN / IMAGE ISTOCKPHOTO In a circular economy, designers ensure that products last longer, that they can be repaired easily and that they are made from recyclable rawmaterials. For example, Deltares is working with others to look at howwe can buildmore sustainable locks, bridges and dikes so that they can last a hundred years instead of fifty. When it comes to the circular economy, the focus is primarily onmaterials, in- dustrial ecosystems and technical cycles. Water and sediments such as clay, silt, sand and gravel are often overlooked. Wrongly so. Deltares is emphasising that these resources are becoming scarce as rawmaterials for agriculture, industry and construction, and sowe should be payingmore attention to them. By 2050, our planet is expected to be home to more than nine billion people. In the meantime, levels of prosperity will rise. That means increasing demand for rawmaterials for things like food, clothing, transport and energy. Unfor- tunately, rawmaterials are becoming increasingly scarce, and extraction and consumption cause environmental pollution. In short, the system is unsus- tainable. That is why the linear economy has to be replaced with a circular econo- my in which there is no waste and raw materials are constantly re-used. 18 DELTARES, OCTOBER 2019 1