‘Water-wise communities’ in Kazakhstan
In 2017, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan are celebrating 25 years of bilateral ties. In addition, a major international exposition was held in the Kazakh capital Astana. The theme of Expo 2017 Astana was ‘Future Energy’, which ties in well with the focus areas of collaboration between the Netherlands and the Central Asian country. The Netherlands attaches great importance to creating new partnerships between Kazakh and Dutch companies, government authorities and knowledge institutes. The Holland Innovation Challenge was therefore introduced to tie in with Expo 2017 Astana.
Based on a business case, 24 students and young professionals from the two countries developed inventive applications of existing Dutch innovations, tailored specifically to the situation in Kazakhstan and to key social and economic objectives formulated by the Kazakh government. The ‘Aquamotion’ team was selected as the winner at Expo 2017 Astana. This team worked on a Witteveen+Bos case study focusing on ‘sustainable development through sustainable water’. In the opinion of the jury, Aquamotion’s ‘water-wise community’ was the most innovative, sustainable and applicable idea submitted as part of the Holland Innovation Challenge. This preliminary concept for a residential district is aimed at achieving a drastic reduction of water consumption by implementing smart usage and recycling solutions, with the ultimate goal of creating a circular water system. Former Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp presented the prize during his working visit to Kazakhstan in June of this year.