Water Currents: World Toilet Day 2017

Water Currents is produced biweekly by USAID’s E3 Water Office. Each issue contains recent news and articles on water sector issues, partner and donor updates, latest sector research, and a special focus on one topic. Please provide your feedback and suggestions by contacting the waterteam@usaid.gov.

To mark World Toilet Day, November 19, 2017, USAID will be joining a global conversation, bringing attention to the 2.4 billion people without access to a toilet, and the role sanitation plays in improving health and well-being worldwide. The theme for World Toilet Day (WTD) 2017 is wastewater, which highlights the importance of safely disposing of waste so it doesn’t contaminate water and food sources, leading to the spread of disease.

USAID and its partners work toward increasing access to safe and basic sanitation services and increasing treatment, recycling, and reuse of wastewater worldwide. In Fiscal Year 2016, USAID and its partners helped 2.9 million people gain access to basic sanitation—defined as a facility that separates people from their waste and is not shared with other households.

This issue of Water Currents contains links to WTD 2017 resources and events, as well as recent studies on a range of sanitation issues to help mark this important advocacy day.

Join the #WorldToiletDay conversation @USAIDWater
Read more about the Digni-Loo (pictured above) in the November issue of Global Waters.


Water Currents - In Focus

World Toilet Day 2017 Resources

The Official World Toilet Day website highlights the theme for WTD 2017, wastewater. The WTD website includes a factsheet, infographic, stories, and a video, Where does our poo go?


Sanitation Economy: The Commercial Case & Economics for the Biological CycleToilet Board Coalition, November 16, 2017. The Toilet Board Coalition is hosting a Google Hangout to mark the release of its new report, “Circular Economy Sanitation: Towards a Commercial Reality” for WTD 2017. A roundtable of experts will highlight and discuss business-led models to redesign sanitation.


State of Urban Water and Sanitation in IndiaUSAID, October 2017. Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings of India is a three-year, USAID-funded collaboration with TERI University, Coca-Cola India, and TERI. The report provides a regional assessment of progress in urban sanitation, analyzes the sanitation landscape, discusses three years of Swachh Bharat Mission, gives an overview the sanitation service chain, and describes how to leverage corporate engagement.

Waste Stabilization PondsGlobal Water Pathogen Project, September 2017. Waste stabilization ponds consist of open basins that use natural processes to treat domestic wastewater, septage, and sludge, as well as animal or industrial wastes. One of their biggest advantages is that they are easy and inexpensive to operate and maintain.
Cultural Preferences for the Methods and Motivation of Sanitation Infrastructure DevelopmentJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 2017. Research has found that sanitation infrastructure is shaped by national-level cultural preferences. This study expands on past work to identify combinations of cultural dimensions that explain sanitation infrastructure technology choices.
Towards a World Free of Untreated Wastewater: Policy BriefUnited Nations University, July 2017. Transforming wastewater management is critical to shift the world onto a sustainable development path. Policymakers need to prioritize policies that support strategic investments in increasing wastewater collection and treatment to trigger a win-win for those communities irrigating with wastewater, those using wastewater produce, and for environmental and human health.
Inclusive Business Models for Wastewater TreatmentInnovation Policy Platform, April 2017. Wastewater treatment enterprises have developed household wastewater treatment systems that are modular, have low operating costs in terms of electricity and maintenance, operate quietly and with less odor, while offering quick returns on investment.
The Influence of Household- and Community-Level Sanitation and Fecal Sludge Management on Urban Fecal Contamination in Households and Drains and Enteric Infection in ChildrenAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, June 2017. A study of two neighborhoods in Vellore, India, found that children in households with poor fecal sludge management had 10 times higher prevalence of enteric infection than other children in the neighborhood, even those without household toilets.
A Review on Production, Marketing and Use of Fuel BriquettesInternational Water Management Institute, 2016. In recent years, briquetting has aroused a great deal of interest because of the opportunity to utilize agricultural residues and the organic fractions of municipal solid waste more efficiently. This study reviews the briquette making process, looking at the entire value chain.
Towards Sustainable Sanitation Management: Establishing the Costs and Willingness to Pay for Emptying and Transporting Sludge in Rural Districts with High Rates of Access to LatrinesPLoS One, March 2017. This research paper is among the few that examines the costs of waste management and provides solutions for financing the cost of implementation. This framework can be used to identify cost-effective sludge management options.
Potable Reuse: Guidance for Producing Safe Drinking-WaterWorld Health Organization (WHO), August 2017. Growing pressures on available water resources makes potable reuse a practical source of drinking water in specific circumstances. This document describes how to apply appropriate management systems to produce safe drinking water from municipal wastewater.
Urban Sanitation & Hygiene: A Story of ChangeSHARE Project, 2017. This report summarizes findings from SHARE urban sanitation research projects that focused on three broad areas: health impact of sanitation in urban environments, sustainable sanitation systems, and effective behavior change.
Sanitation Safety Planning: Manual for Safe Use and Disposal of Wastewater, Greywater and ExcretaWHO, 2016. Sanitation safety planning is a risk-based management approach for sanitation systems. This manual focuses on safe use of human waste. It assists users to systematically identify and manage health risk along the sanitation chain.
Faecal Sludge Management in Urban India: Policies, Practices, and PossibilitiesUSAID, December 2016. India sanitation efforts in recent years have been very ambitious. This discussion paper examines current policies and practices and explores the possibilities of effective and integrated fecal sludge management in Indian cities.
Wastewater/Water ReuseWater Currents, August 2017. This issue of Water Currents was prepared for World Water Week 2017, which had wastewater as the conference theme.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017 – Wastewater: The Untapped ResourceUNESCO, March 2017. The paradigm is shifting from wastewater being disposed of to it being considered for reuse, recycling, and recovery. This report takes a comprehensive look at the trends, challenges, and technical aspects of wastewater reuse and how to create an enabling environment for change.  


Turning Faecal Sludge into EnergyIRC, September 2017. This podcast is about innovative research carried out in Bangladesh that converts fecal sludge into commercially viable end-products while at the same improving health and reducing greenhouse gases.
Seven Myths about Urban Sanitation DebunkedThe World Bank, August 2017. City managers and sector experts across the world have worked hard to achieve effective urban sanitation, often with limited success. This is typically due to a set of enduring myths that are discussed in this video.

Online Courses

Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. This course includes lessons on how to plan affordable and context-specific sanitation solutions, the newest developments in urban sanitation planning, and best practices for urban sanitation systems in low- and middle-income countries. Eawag-Sandec and EPFL jointly offer the course with sanitation experts from the World Bank and WHO. The course starts on November 13, 2017.


The Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) – The TBC is a business platform to enable private-sector engagement; connect large and small companies; and ensure close collaboration among private, public, and nonprofit sectors with the common goal to accelerate the business of sanitation for all.
World Toilet Organization (WTO) – WTO is a global nonprofit committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO empowers individuals through education, training, and building local marketplace opportunities to advocate for clean and safe sanitation facilities in their communities.

Water Currents - In the News

Connecting Innovators to the MarketplaceGlobalwaters.org, October 2017. USAID’s Global Development Lab recently hosted an innovation marketplace at the 2017 Global Innovation Week in Washington, D.C. This blog post highlights a few of the organizations from the conference working on sanitation issues.

India Turns to Public Shaming to Get People to Use its 52 Million New ToiletsWashington Post, November 2017. Local governments all over India are using shame and fear as a behavioral change tactic to rid the public of open defecation. 
Collaboration is Key to Seizing the Reuse Opportunity of WastewaterIWA News, October 2017. City leaders, regulators, basin agencies, and utilities must all come together to seize the reuse opportunity of wastewater. They need to understand the benefits that come from safe wastewater reuse and recovery, such as turning waste into a product and creating new businesses.
The New Economy of ExcrementScientific American, September 2017. This article explains how entrepreneurs are finding profits by turning human waste into fertilizer, fuel, and even food.
Transforming the Markets for Emptying Toilets in BangladeshWater and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), October 2017. WSUP created SWEEP, a public-private partnership that enables a private-sector operator to lease equipment owned by the public sector, lowering barriers to entry into the market for septic tank emptying services.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.


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