Sanitation for all

Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 06/2012; 486(7402):185. DOI: 10.1038/486185a
Source: PubMed


Water pollution from sewage is causing great damage to India. The nation
needs to complete its waste systems and reinvent toilet technologies,
says Sunita Narain.

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    Nature 08/2012; 488(7409):32. DOI:10.1038/488032b · 41.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A good place to start with India's problems of poor sanitation (see, for example, (Nature 486, 185; 2012) would be the country's 150-year-old railway network, which carries 30 million passengers every day. Hygienic sanitation technologies have yet to be installed in all passenger coaches. The basic lavatory design throws excreta on…
    Nature 09/2012; 489:33. DOI:10.1038/489033e · 41.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pit latrines are an important form of decentralized wastewater management, providing hygienic and low-cost sanitation for approximately one-quarter of the global population. Latrines are also major sources of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) from the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in pits. In this study we develop a spatially-explicit approach to account for local hydrological control over the anaerobic condition of latrines, and use this analysis to derive a set of country-specific emissions factors and to estimate global pit latrine CH4 emissions. Between 2000 and 2015 we project global emissions to fall from 5.2 to 3.8 Tg/y, or from ~2% to ~1% of global anthropogenic CH4 emissions, due largely to urbanization in China. 2.5 billion people still lack improved sanitation services, however, and progress towards universal access to improved sanitation will likely drive future growth in pit latrine emissions. We discuss modeling results in the context of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene development, and consider appropriate technologies to ensure hygienic sanitation while limiting CH4 emissions. We show that low-CH4 on-site alternatives like composting toilets may be price competitive with other CH4 mitigation measures in organic waste sectors, with marginal abatement costs ranging from 57 to 944 $/ton carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) in Africa and 46 to 97 $/ton CO2e in Asia.
    Environmental Science and Technology 07/2014; 48(15). DOI:10.1021/es501549h · 5.33 Impact Factor


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