Water and resource recovery (WRR) involves the harvesting of rainwater, stormwater, and/or municipal wastewater and treatment so fit-for-purpose (e.g. non-potable water, fertilizer and energy recovery). There is no national policy for WRR in Canada, and there are minimal WRR-specific provincial regulations; given this lack of regulation, current projects are highly specific to the local context and approved individually. We engaged people who work with water and wastewater services in the province of Alberta, Canada to discuss what WRR could look like in their context. During 3-h workshops, information on WRR was shared and participants engaged in discussions using a World Café process. Participants discussed the need for supportive regulations and government leadership, financial support, collaboration and knowledge sharing, education and communication, and accounting for risk and liability. Given that the participants are individuals who would be impacted by the development of regulations for WRR, we discuss concepts to provide the guidance needed for the successful implementation of WRR. This research connected experts in water and wastewater and gave space for developing ideas that make sense to those most closely involved in delivering WRR systems.
Guidance is provided on delivering water and resource recovery systems for municipal water services in the absence of national and limited provincial regulations.
Collaboration/engagement from inception supports the organized and efficient implementation of a WRR project.
Overall, WRR guidance needs to be simple and sensible, and collaboration must be across different sectors, stakeholders, and rights-holders.