Organised by: (WRC) Water Research Commission, Gates Foundation, Columbia University
Have you ever imagined that if we went off the grid and had no flushing of human wastes, we will be freeing around 30 to 40% of freshwater and eliminate the need for treating, reuse and recycle wastewater. Breaking the nexus of toilet—wastewater—pollution—energy is a key function for future sustainability.
Conventional reticulated sanitation require high investment costs, and substantial access to energy and water to operate the systems. Against the challenges of water security, availability, climate variability, rising energy costs and growing concerns of new and emerging pathogens, the questions posed is whether this model can be sustainable into the future. Especially at a time when global utilities and governments are increasing effort to meet the SDG targets which, for the sanitation component, will focus attention to the majority of the unserved communities in rural, urban and peri-urban areas in developing and developed cities. About 2 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation, and additional 2.5 billion use non-sewered sanitation systems (off-grid) which are not always properly managed. Despite the many advantages of off the grid and waterless toilet and sanitation technologies, especially in a water-scare country, they are not attracting decision maker’s attention. There is still a weak understanding of policies and regulations needed to promote alternative solutions to sewer based systems, and especially how sanitation services can be priced in cities and communities without sewer.
The first set of disruptive technologies are moving from prototype to manufacturing, supported by a number of implementation and business models for its role out. The WRC and the Foundation are working towards large scale demonstration. This session aims to share some of the new developments and technologies emanating from the Gates Sanitation Challenge and the Water research Commission, as well as others.
It will highlight current experiences and lessons, and will stimulate or provoke thinking towards a sanitation future free of wastewater and faecal sludges.
• Greater awareness of new technologies and developments
• Share best practices and lessons
• Inform policy and process which may change design and regulations
• Establish a Community of practice
• Discuss how off the grid systems can influence city wide sanitation planning and developments.
• Development of standards and ISO processes for technologies
The case studies will share the latest progress on innovative sanitation service delivery models as well as the next generation of technologies currently being developed for the launch a new sanitation industry. We hope to stimulate a dialogue with key leading thinkers in this field, on the timing and the opportunity at hand in more holistically dealing with the nexus of toilet—wastewater—pollution—energy.