Sanitation planning in developing countries: added value of resource recovery

S.M. Kerstens

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Sanitation planning in developing countries: Added value of resource recovery

Worldwide 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation. This impacts human live, the environment and represents a loss of valuable resources that can be regained from wastewater. This study shows that resource recovery can be a potential driver to accelerate sanitation. A new sanitation decision framework for policy makers was created and tested in Indonesia.

The variety of advantages and disadvantages of sanitation interventions complicates the sanitation planning process. Conventional sanitation systems consume energy, chemicals and land or produce a sludge that requires disposal, whereas a range of opportunities exists that enables valorization of resources from our “waste”. To support policy makers in planning sanitation that considers sustainability dimensions (social, environment and economy), a new sanitation framework was developed. This framework resolves trade-offs of sanitation alternatives across spatial and temporal scales in three steps. First, it identifies feasible wastewater and solid waste systems in relation to the type of residential area. Secondly, the anticipated population development, current access and formulated targets are an input to generate the number of required systems, their location and associated implementation costs. The required systems are visualized in geographical maps, while budgets are allocated to responsible implementing institutions. Thirdly, the potential demand from “back-end users” of sanitation products, such as agriculture for compost and phosphorus, aquaculture for produced duckweed and industries for recovered plastic and paper, to substitute conventionally produced materials is determined. These three steps are then combined to quantitatively evaluate the (1) environmental impact, (2) operational costs and benefits, and (3) the potential of selected sanitation alternatives to close material cycles. A case study of the Citarum River was performed in which (monetized) benefits such as health, welfare and revenues from the sale of recovered resources were compared with the costs of different (conventional and resource recovery) sanitation systems. The study showed that the economic Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) of resource recovery technologies is bigger than BCR of conventional (low cost) technologies, while improving the water quality. It thus shows that resource recovery is a potential driver to accelerate sanitation development. The framework was illustrated using Indonesia as an example, but its application can benefit the quality of millions of lives worldwide.

 

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Zeeman, Grietje, Promotor
  • Leusbrock, Ingo, Co-promotor
Award date12 Apr 2016
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789462576889
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • sanitation
  • developing countries
  • recovery
  • urban planning
  • waste water treatment
  • waste treatment
  • waste management
  • environmental technology

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