September 25, 2023 Climate changeEnvironmentWastewater

Climate Smart Utilities: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Water Resource Recovery Facilities

IWA is pleased to present a new short guide on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Water Resource Recovery Facilities produced by the IWA Climate Smart Utilities GHG sub-group.

As humanity faces the looming challenges of global heating and irreversible tipping points such as increasingly frequent and record-breaking heatwaves and flooding, it is crucial for the water sector to accurately establish baselines and effectively reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). These actions are integral to global efforts aimed at achieving the critical objective of limiting global warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To date, there is limited guidance available for the water sector to support utilities in comprehensively accounting for and reporting emissions at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs), which includes both upstream and downstream emissions from wastewater management.

This white paper has been produced by the IWA Climate Smart Utilities GHG sub-group with the aim of providing a concise overview of GHG emissions for utilities and practitioners. It draws upon recent research and publications on the subject, highlighting the relevance of life cycle carbon accounting and wider life cycle assessment. This paper serves as the first instalment in a series focusing on GHG emissions, monitoring, and mitigation in wastewater treatment.


With thanks to contributors:
Eoghan Clifford, University of Galway, Ireland
Conall Holohan, NVP Energy, Ireland
Alexis de Kerchove, Xylem, Sweden
Amanda Lake, Jacobs, United Kingdom
Daniel Nolasco, Nolasco y Asociados Consulting, Argentina
Martin Srb, Pražské Vodovody a Kanalizace, Czech Republic
Corinne Trommsdorff, French Solid Waste Partnership, France
Liu Ye, University of Queensland, Australia

The contributors also would like to extend their gratitude to the IWA Secretariat team (Benedetta Sala, Brenda Ampomah, and Charles Joseph) for their assistance and support throughout the publication process.


Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in more than 140 countries worldwide, forming the large... Read full biography