From Toilets to Rivers: Experiences, New Opportunities, and Innovative Solutions

Publication | March 2014

This publication showcases a compilation of project briefs culled from case studies of good practices, new approaches, and working models on sanitation and wastewater management from different countries. The project briefs demonstrate solution options from which useful lessons can be derived. Not only do they illustrate how sanitation and wastewater management challenges can be addressed, the project briefs also aim to inspire replication and show opportunities for actions and investments. Given the more complex water resource and health challenges in many parts of the world, it is time to engage in a rational analysis of all possible management strategies, learn from others' experiences, apply innovative approaches, and tap potential markets.

Findings

While issues of sanitation are often looked at in isolation, they are directly tied to issues of water security, health, food security, environmental sustainability, energy and climate change. The case studies illustrate not only the challenges of sanitation and wastewater management, but more importantly, the proven results in

  • increasing access to sanitation in poor communities through on-site sanitation facilities, low-cost sewerage and decentralized wastewater treatment systems;
  • improving service delivery through policy reforms, application of appropriate technologies, innovative financing mechanisms and contracts, and public-private partnerships;
  • ensuring financial viability and sustainability; and
  • reusing treated wastewater and sludge to augment water supplies for potable and non-potable uses, produce energy, and contribute to food security and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

This compilation of good practices and working models intends to show that sustainable sanitation is possible, and aims to inspire replication, institutionalization of sanitation both in policy and practice, and scaling up of investments. Given the more complex water resource and health challenges encountered in many parts of the world, it is time to engage in a rational analysis of all possible management strategies, learn from others' experiences, apply innovative approaches, and tap the potential market.

Contents 

  • Background
  • Improved On-Site Sanitation: A Business Case
  • Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems for Public Markets and Peri-Urban Areas
  • Constructed Wetlands with Reuse Applications
  • Low-Cost Sewerage Systems
  • Applying Innovative and Multidimensional Approaches
  • Wastewater as a Strategic Part of Economic Development
  • Rethinking Financing Options
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Driving Innovations
  • Protecting Water Resources and Coasts
  • Creating Synergies for Energy and Nutrient Recovery
  • Wastewater and Septage Treatment and Reuse for Agriculture
  • Wastewater Treatment and Aquaculture
  • Wastewater Treatment for Sustainable Tourism and Recreation
  • Environmental Sanitation and Good Governance