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Urban Sanitation, Wastewater And Climate Change

Urban Sanitation, Wastewater And Climate Change



Wastewater is a response to a lack of available good quality water. This is a presentation on the topic given to the IWA World Water Congress in Montreal, Sept. 21, 2010.

Wastewater is a response to a lack of available good quality water. This is a presentation on the topic given to the IWA World Water Congress in Montreal, Sept. 21, 2010.



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  • First, weneed to startwithstraightforwardenvironmental planning principlesthatshould not be news to any of you. Engineering is a lot about facilitatingnaturalprocesses. For instance, aeratedlagoons or ultra violet treatmentimprove water qualityusing the naturalprocessesthat break down pathogens. A second How energy intensive is a system? Carboncost has to befactored in. (3) Wherever possible, systemsthatmake use of effluent to capture its value iscritical – nutrientrecycling to preventdownstreamproblems in the environment (eutrophication).(4) Costs and benefits – not researchedwellenough (FAO)
  • The keyisthatwastewater management bedoneusing the principle of “fitforpurpose” plan infrastructurebasedonthewaywaterwillbeused. Ifitisforcropsthatwillbeeatenraw, thatisonething. Ifitisgoingtobereusedfor golf coursesorothermunicpal use thatisanother. Infrastrucutureinvestments and design need to bedonewithconsideration for reuse.
  • This ishighlysignificantbecausewhatthismeansisthatdifferent places should have differenthealthbasedtargets.

Urban Sanitation, Wastewater And Climate Change Urban Sanitation, Wastewater And Climate Change Presentation Transcript

  • Urban Sanitation and Wastewater Reuse in Agriculture – An Urban Planning Perspective
    Mark Redwood
    Program Leader, ClimateChange and Water
    International Development Research Centre
  • Outline of Presentation
    Drivers of wastewater use
    Illustrations of wastewater use in cities
    What can be done?
  • IDRC
    • Created by Canadian Parliament in 1970
    • International Board of Governors
    • Research in developing countries to promote growth and development
    • IDRC workonwastewatergoes back to 1998
    • Partners in thisworkinclude at least 15 researchinstitutions
    • WHO, IWMI, FAO, World Bank
  • Drivers of Wastewater Use
    Water stress and climatechange
    Urbanization, populationgrowth and foodinsecurity
    Failure of sanitation
  • Water stress isontherise
    Sources: Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture 2007; and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2008
  • Source: IPCC, WG2, 2008
    Examples of freshwater stress associatedwithclimatechange
  • “Increasing water scarcity combined with increased food demand and/or water use for irrigation as a result of higher temperatures are likely to lead to enhanced water reuse. Areas with low sanitation coverage might be found to be practising (as a new activity or to a greater degree) uncontrolled water reuse (reuse that is performed using polluted water or even wastewater).”
    Source: p. 70, WG 2, IPCC 2008
  • Urbanization
    Source: UN Habitat 2008
  • Source: ProgressonDrinkingWater and Sanitation - WHO UNICEF 2008
  • Le Caire (Égypte)
  • Nouackchott (Mauritanie)
  • Mark Redwood - PURE
    Pipe water
  • Mark Redwood - UPE
    Butpeople can be at riskwhenconsumingproductsirrigatedwithuntreatedorpartiallytreatedwastewater.
  • Source: World Bank 2010
  • PlanningFailures
    Tendency to aim for high-tech, high-cost – “skipping steps in the sanitation ladder”
    Operation and maintenance – the inability to recover costs
    Political stasis
    Training for planners has its limits… there are conventions (and sometimes for good reason!)
  • Whatisrequiredtochange
    howwe plan and manage
  • FiveStepsThat Can Make a Difference
    Remindourselves of the ecological basis of planning
    “Reverse” thewaterchainwhenwe plan and design
    Set anappropriatehealth-based target (2006 WHO Guidelines)
    Revitalize and enforce rules aboutwhatentersthesystem
    Recognizetheintrinsicvalue of wastewater
  • (1) Key EcologicalPlanningPrinciples
    Facilitate natural process
    Minimizecarbon and energycost
    Understandthecosts and benefits
    Recognizeeconomicvalue of wastewater(FAO)
  • (2) Reverse WaterChainApproach
    Make design decisionsbased on the actual and potentialreuse of wastewater
    • Effluent quality fixed by the required water characteristics in downstream irrigation
    • The location of a treatment plant in relation to the agricultural field and additional fresh water resources
    • Decentralization in view of cost reduction and the exclusion of toxic waste streams in the sewerage
    • The lay-out of the water distribution system, incl. the construction of irrigation water storage basins
    How doesthis affect design?
    (Thanksto Frans Huibers at Waginingen U.)
  • (3) Set appropriatehealthbasedtarget
    Wastewater treatment may be considered to be of a low priority if the local incidence of diarrheal disease is high and other water-supply, sanitation and hygiene-promotion interventions are more cost-effective in controlling transmission. In such circumstances, it is recommended that, initially, a national standard is established for a locally appropriate level of tolerable additional burden of disease based on the local incidence of diarrheal disease – for example, ≤10−5 or ≤10−4 DALY [loss] per person per year [emphasis added].
  • TheStockholm Framework, 2006
  • The multiple barrier approach from “Farm to Fork”
    Wastewater generation
    Wastewater generation
    Wastewater generation
    Farmer/ Producer
    Street food kitchens
    Safe IrrigationPractices
    Safe food washing and preparation
    Wastewater treatment
    Wastewater treatment
    Wastewater treatment
    Awareness creation to create demand for safe produce
    Safe produce

    Safe produce

    Policy recognition, safer farm land, tenure security, market incentives, safe-food labelling,…
  • WastewaterIrrigation and Health
  • In conclusion…
    Wastewater use shouldbe a part of any sensible water and sanitation plan
    Startwith a clear idea of what use of wastewaterisforeseen
    Establishthehealth-based target (usingthe WHO Guidelines)
    Engagetherightpeople and institutions
  • Acknowledgements
    Robert Bos (WHO)
    Pay Drechsel (IWMI)
    Blanca Jimenez (UNAM)
    Frans Huibers (Waginingen U.)
    SeydouNiang (UCAD)
    SusanneSchierling (World Bank)
    Javier Sagasto (FAO)
    SashaKoo-Oshima (US-EPA)
    Duncan Mara (Leeds U.)
    Thor-Axel Stenstrom (SIDCC)
    Chris Scott (U. of Arizona)