Water and Sanitation

Durban Metro Water Services: Sewage Disposal Education Programme, South Africa

Durban is the main port of the Republic of South Africa. It is situated on the East Coast of South Africa, approximately 600km South East of Johannesburg. It is the commercial center of the province of KwaZulu Natal. Durban Metro Water Service's Sewage Disposal Education Programme arose out of the need to curb high levels of sewage pollution and maintenance costs incurred through the abuse and misuse of sewerage systems in the Durban metropolitan area. This education programme has become a vehicle of broader social reconstruction and development. Directed by Durban Metro Water Services, it involves public / private partnerships, and aims to establish a climate of civic responsibility, calling on communities to support their local government and businesses in the construction and development of their living environments.

The main objective of the Sewage Disposal Education Programme is to create a better understanding of the workings of the sewerage system amongst communities, especially first time users of these services. This is done through a number of innovative educational interventions, which encourage interactive and participative learning. Educational resources and toolkits have been designed for use in schools and at informal education settings, such as clinics. Road-show and street theatre performances are presented at informal settings to a broad spectrum of the community, reaching out to less literate members of communities.

The education programme has made a quantitative impact. In Umlazi (population 262,000) for example, blockages have been reduced from approximately 1300 per month to 300 - 400 per month, after a period of about one and a half to two years. Sewage blockages throughout the Metro area have resulted in savings equivalent to US$ 200,000. The education campaign has reached 141,646 learners and 212,104 adults. The entire education programme has been introduced in 226 schools and many clinics. In addition, within the period of one year, 550 street theatre performances were held in the Durban metropolitan area, reaching approximately a further 35,600 adults and 40,000 school children. Rewarding public/private partnerships have resulted from the programme, with buy-in from industry. Emphasis has been placed on community capacity building and skills development, and the employment of women has been encouraged. By-laws have been passed and formalised in the form of a Legal Framework for Pollution Management. Over thirty facilitators are now fully employed. In additions the program provides employment to thespians who perform on the streets.

Durban Metro Water Services has pioneered the Sewage Disposal Education Programme in South Africa. As a result of an invitation to present an aspect of this educational programme to the World Bank Water Supply and Sanitation Forum in Washington, Durban Metro Water Services has received an invitation to help develop a toolkit in Kenya, for improving delivery of water supply and sanitation services to low income urban communities, which could be utilised by service providers throughout Africa.

Back to top

Water Conservation Conscious Fukuoka, Japan

Like most best practices, effective water demand management in Fukuoka was born from a crisis. There was a great drought in 1978, forcing the city government to curb water supply for 287 days in a year. Without abundant water resources and subject to serious periodic droughts, Fukuoka faced an enormous challenge in securing a stable water supply to serve population of over 1.3 million. To respond to this alarming situation, the Fukuoka city in partnership with the citizens and private sector launched various initiatives promoting a “Water Conservation Conscious City” in 1979.

Under this scheme, several innovations and measures were implemented. Water-saving apparatus were introduced and currently approximately 96% of users have water flow reducing devices installed in their facets. Water savings have been realized with an average family saving up to 1,000 liters per month. Water conservation consciousness amongst residents is promoted through “Save Water Campaign” held annually in June. Guidelines on saving water are distributed to homes and educational materials to primary schools. More than 85% of citizens are involved in some kind of efforts to conserve water. The Fukuoka City Water Bureau has been addressing water leakage by replacing old pipes were replaced with new ones. Through such effort Fukuoka has the lowest water leakage rate of Japan and it was under 2.7% in 2001. The city is also actively promoting reuse of treated wastewater. Using the Wide-Area Circulation System and Individual Circulation System for large- buildings, used and treated water is utilized for flush toilets and watering plants. The amount of water conserved by this approach is about 7,000 cubic meters a day. The City supplements its fresh water supplies by converting seawater into freshwater, using the Reverse Permeability system, to produce 50,000 cubic meters of freshwater daily.

Other measures include an integrated water distribution monitoring system to ensure efficiency. The City has also embarked on protecting water sources through tree planting campaign. Currently, per capita water consumption in Fukuoka City is less than what it was before in 1978, despite a 30 per cent increase in population. Fukuoka City consumes approximately 20% less water than other comparably sized cities.

Contact: Hiroaki Goda
Tel: 81-92-711-4022
Fax: 81-92-733-5597
Email: asiasumm@gol.com

Back to top

A City Saving Water, Zaragoza, Spain

Eleven million Spaniards were undergoing daily water restrictions. There were serious inter-regional conflicts over this scarce commodity. The only one solution was to have more reservoirs and more water pipe network. Zaragoza, a city of 700,000 inhabitants in the northeast of Spain was no exception to this situation with rainfall being scarce and irregular and water being misused. In 1997, the "Zaragoza, the water-saving city" project was initiated aiming to promote a new water-saving consciousness through a more efficient management of this resource. It emphasised, above all, the importance of simple technological change to achieve a sustainable reduction in water consumption. The project's aim was to save 1,000 million litres of domestic water consumption in one year.

The Zaragoza Water Saving City project has demonstrated that that partnerships, awareness building and technology can be combined to achieve a sustainable reduction in water consumption. The major participants in the project are government institutions, financial institutions, the business sector (manufacturers, distributors, professionals, large consumers), the educational sector (teachers, students), the media and society in general (associations, consumers). The project resulted in saving of 592 million litres in domestic water consumption. Partnership arrangements and agreements were made with over 2,450 establishments involving 92,000 people. 168 educational establishments, 428 teachers and 70,000 students are directly participating in the campaign's Educational Programme. The most important lesson is that shared responsibility between main players (manufacturers, retailers, consumers, distributors, plumbers etc) has managed to create a new synergy which favours water-use efficiency. Many Northern and Southern Hemisphere cities have shown an interest in the project, such as Lisbon, Málaga and Valencia, Cuzco in Peru and León, Nicaragua.

Contact person: Víctor Viñuales Edo
Tel: +34-976 22 66 33
Fax: +34-976 22 64 69
E-mail: ahorra@agua.ecodes.org

Back to top

National Programme to Conserve Drinking Water, Egypt

This project aims to conserve drinking water, locally and nationally by reducing water losses, utilization of 16 locally developed sanitary fixtures, intensive public awareness program (media and personal contact), and training of local plumbers. These measures resulted in reducing the water consumption by 36 million m3 in one year with cost savings of about 5 million USD/ year. Consequently, the load on the sewerage system has also been reduced.

Contact person: Dr. Emad El-Deen Adli Nada
Fax: (202) 3041635

Back to top

SODIS, Solar Water Disinfection, Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) developed a very simple but extremely effective low-cost device for water purification that can be applied worldwide. The priorities were outlined with the rural population in developing countries in mind where instances of water borne diseases and related deaths due to the lack of access to safe drinking water are high. The new method for water purification had to produce safe drinking water, be applicable at the household level, be simple in application, rely on local resources and renewable energy and be replicable with low investment costs.

Researchers carried out comprehensive laboratory and field-tests to develop and test the effectiveness of SODIS - the device developed for the purification of drinking water using solar energy. The principle behind SODIS is that radiation in the spectrum of UV/A and increased water temperature destroy pathogens that cause disease. A solar radiation intensity of at least 500W/m2 is required over a period of 5 hours for SODIS to be effective. To do this, all that is required is a simple plastic container such as disposable mineral water bottles with one side painted black and a cover to reduce the risk of re-contamination. Through a massive publicity campaign, including demonstrations, SODIS is in use in many developing countries where assessments have shown a decrease in infection rates and drastic improvements in children's nutritional status. Time and fuel consumption have been saved and less effort is spent in purifying water using traditional means such as boiling. A survey carried out indicates that 84% of current users appreciate the new technology and will continue to use it in future. SODIS promotion and dissemination initiatives and activities are in progress or have been initiated in Latin America, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Angola, Mexico, Brazil amongst other developing nations.

This technology provides a solution to both rural and urban low-income households with lack of access to safe drinking water supply and an alternative to chemical treatment processes. In addition, SODIS contributes to the sustainability of the environment through the re-use of plastic bottles.

Back to top

Regional Integration for Availability of Water, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The rapid increase in population to (4 million inhabitants in 62 municipalities) in the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí river basin region in addition to the withdrawal of water from the river basin to supply the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area resulted in depleted local water supply. In addition there was low coverage at 3% of sewage collection and treatment in the region. The Consortium PCJ (Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí rivers) was created as a result of the need to have a regional body to resolve issues related to water resources in the region. Initiated in 1989, the Consortium involved 11 cities, a number that has grown to 42 cities and 34 companies. The project also contributes to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the region.

The main priorities and strategies were identified through open fora and events for local leadership development, involving stakeholders from different sectors. Regional integration, planning and management for sustainable water supply and awareness raising on environmental protection, are the main priorities. An integrated support programme was developed for the implementation of the Consortium that outlined specific projects: Cities Support; Technical
Cooperation; River Basins Management; Industrial and Urban Waste Treatment; Domestic and Health Solid Waste Management; Protection of Water Springs for Public Supply; Public Water Distribution Systems Management; Replanting Forest Areas, and Environmental Education.

Community mobilisation was carried out by local groups, and co-ordinated largely by women. Responsible citizenship and environmental awareness were stimulated though schools and youth groups, and the programme has been carried out with the support of local governments and the private sector. A Water Collection and Production Plan for the Piracicaba and Capivari Rivers was elaborated and a Basin Committee founded. The PCJ Consortium has assisted the creation of other similar initiatives, which utilise sound management practices such as: cost recovery, budgeting and priority definition, executive secretariat structure, environmental education, participatory process model and methodology, etc. The experience has contributed to the definition of a River Basin Management Policy.

Back to top

Grouped Drinking Water Supply Programme for Rural Population in Morocco - PAGER, Rabat.

The supply of drinking water to the rural areas in Morocco was not well developed in comparison to the urban areas The scattered settlements characteristic of the villages is a serious constraint to the development of networks of water distribution. Of the 12,600 inhabitants of rural Morocco, less than 20% had access to safe drinking water with the situation reaching critical levels during the drought. Women and children in 93% of the cases were responsible for the transportation of water having to walk distances of over 10 kilometres to rivers and exposing themselves to water borne diseases such as bilharzia, diarrhoea and cholera and compromising their education. The PAGER is a program launched by the High Water and Climate Council of Morocco in 1995 to implement the National Master Plan on water supply to rural areas. A database has been created with all the relevant information on the rural localities of the Kingdom, which number 40,000. In each province, the interventions are carried out on the basis of a multi-criteria analysis that integrates the population of the village, the distance between the source of water and the village, the vulnerability of the water resource to drought and water borne diseases risks.

The PAGER works on the basis that requests come from the rural population before any intervention is initiated. This approach has enhanced the participation of the local community in development of their surroundings and enhanced local ownership of the project. 80% of the total budget was provided by the State, 15% by the local community through their associations and 5% by beneficiary users. The PAGER provides training to some community members who are tasked with sensitizing and involving the entire community. Women particularly have the role of reaching out to their peers in the community.

As a result of the initiative, more that 7,000 villages and close to 3.5 million residents have access to safe drinking water. A clear reduction of water borne disease incidences has been noted and women and children concerned with fetching water have been relieved of the chore. During the last period of drought, the impact on water supply was not felt with as much gravity as in the previous years. With the launching of the different projects each year, about ten small enterprises have been created and the population has received training on various aspects of the project such as civil engineering, pumping facilities and bore-holes.

Back to top

Sanitation and farmer production in Sabtenga, Burkina Faso

The population of Burkina Faso is 13 million (UN, 2003) with a GNI per capita of US $220(World Bank, 2001). Centre Régional pour l’Eau Potable et l’Assainissement (CREPA) is an international NGO working in several countries of West Africa. CREPO started a programme of ecological latrines (EcoSan) in the village of Sabtenga (3,062 inhabitants), 20 km away from Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) within its water and sanitation framework.

Among its objectives, CREPO aimed to contribute to improving the health conditions of the populations by putting appropriate and cheap sanitation facilities at the disposal of the populations and by promoting the composition of human excreta for agricultural purposes

To be enable it to achieve its goals, the organisation started by identifying and prioritisation the needs of the population, sensitising and training local actors, researching and studying the socio cultural, technical, hygiene-health, and agronomic aspects of ecological sanitation, preparing the experimental site and conducting the experiments and finally disseminating the results of the pilot project.

The project started in October 2001 with several preparatory meetings involving all local stakeholders and community leaders. Capacity building activity included training of masons and awareness coordinators.

Human excreta was collected, mixed with domestic waste and set aside to composite, this in turn resulted in good quality manure for agriculture. This process not only contributed to the reduction of random defecation on open spaces, but also improved the hygienic conditions of the village. The EcoSan latrines built in the village contributed to the preservation of the quality of drinking water. After the construction of the first 10 latrines, the positive impact on the environment and on the economic situation allowed the project stakeholders to mobilize additional funds for the realization of 50 others latrines.

The awareness strategy adopted during project implementation has put emphasis on community participation and behavioral change. Every household involved in the project committed to playing his/her role fully and to maintaining his/her own garden for agricultural production, enforcing community responsibility previously unseen in the village. The beneficiaries of the latrines understood quickly the EcoSan’s concept and the conditions of usage and maintenance.

Back to top

Sand Dams of Kitui: Providing Potable & Production Water in Semi-Arid Lands of Kitui District, Kenya

Kitui district, with a population of 575,512 and per capita income of US$26, has agriculture as the main economic activity. The district is repeatedly hit by draught as it lacks water mainly due to the lack of retention of the water in the catchment areas, as 80% of the received precipitation is lost as surface run-off. As a result, water resources are few and far apart in dry periods and people walk up to twenty kilometers to get water. The district suffers from food insecurity and has been a net importer of food.

The sand dam programme, undertaken by Sahelian Solutions Foundation Kenya (SASOL) aimed at increasing the availability of water by reducing the distance to water sources and avail adequate water for domestic and productive use within two kilometers of every household; and the amount of water in the catchment to diversify the economic activities of the community and impact on the environment by building of sand dams in a series in a catchment’s drainage channels for synergistic effects.

SASOL works with local communities towards the alleviation of the persistent water problem by organizing and informing the community members about sand dams and their role in the construction. The community identifies sites and decides on the total number of sites it is capable of developing depending on availability of enough stones, sand and water. The site committee plans for activities at the site, supervises and monitors the work in progress; maintains site records, mobilizes the required local resources, stores and protects resources obtained externally, maintains technical staff assigned; and assures compliance of rules and regulations developed by the community.

The development of sand dams and water holding structures, terraces and contour bunds on the land, has increased productive shallow wells from 2 to 39 to date. In total 376 sand dam sites have been developed in Kitui to date bringing water closer to households serving up to 200,000 inhabitants. The time saving on water chores for these inhabitants has been reduced from 5-10 hrs to ½ - 1 hr in these areas as indicated by the community in Tungutu during their project impact assessment. This has boosted food security and economic activities have sprung up, such as bee keeping, brick making and growing of vegetables and trees. This has improved the people’s livelihoods. Women and children are the principle beneficiaries in this development as they usually bear the burden of water chores.

Back to top

A Green Path to Sustainable Development of Marginal Drylands, Iran

Iran, population 68.9 million and per capita income of US $1,720, covers an area of 636,296 sq. miles. Oil exports account for around 80% of foreign exchange earnings as well as non-oil exports such as carpets. The Gareh Bygone Plain, a 6000-hectare sandy desert in southern Iran annually receives 150mm of rain as opposed to 2860mm of Class A pan evaporation. Freshwater scarcity, poor rangeland, and dust storms had caused migration of some nomads-turned-farmers from the Gareh Bygone Plain. The remaining women and children had to walk up to 6-km a day to fetch water resluting in back pain and miscarriages for the women and the lower school attendance for thethe children.

The initiative addresses the vicious cycle of poverty, desertification, and drought affecting the nomads in the Gareh Bygone Plains of Iran. The main objective of the initiative was desertification control through floodwater spreading for the artificial recharge of groundwater. Other objectives include planting of shade trees and fodder bushes as live windbreaks; deposition of the suspended load onto the moving sand; and provision of fuelwood which would discourage people from cutting trees and removing bushes on the watersheds, thus helping soil and water conservation. All of these activities, along with hiring of laborers and watchmen, would reverse the tide of migration.

Floodwater spreading, as expected, has transformed a desert into verdant scenery. Some of the tangible benefits, which were instrumental in reversing the migration towards the Gareh Bygone Plain. The program introduced programs for reforestation, community education and mobilization. A collaboration of central government, local authority, parastatals, non-government organizations, community-based organizations and academic institutions provided knowledge, resources and technology. After five years, results show that 8 million cubic meters of floodwater provided ample freshwater, fuel wood, and employment opportunities, and reduced work burden on women and children. The irrigated area has increased from 147 ha to 1,193 ha and this has provided income for 250 operators, and 95 hired laborers. Moreover, extra employment has been provided due to the annual production of 10 tons of honey. Its success led to a government policy adopting aquifer management as a program and allocated annual budget. It demonstrated the potential of annually harvesting 50 cubic kms of floodwaters could control desertification on 14 million hectares, supply irrigation water for 6 million hectares and provide jobs for 4 million people.

Back to top

Integrated Management of Water Resources in The Paraiba Do Sul River Basin, Brazil.

The Southeast Coastal Hydrographic Region of Brazil has an area of 231,216 km2, accounting for 3% of the country's total area mass and has a mean river discharge rate of 4,024 m3/s (3% of the country's total). Its main rivers are the Paraíba do Sul and Doce rivers, run for 1,150 and 853 km respectively. The Paraíba do Sul basin alone produces an impressive 10% of national GDP. This hydrographic region also presents, significant economic differences, with the GDP per capita ranging from R$ 5,239 in Minas Gerais to R$ 9,210 in São Paulo. The national GDP per capita is R$5,740.

The Paraíba do Sul river crosses three of the most important and developed states of Brazil: Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is the main water supply for more than 11 million people in Rio de Janeiro City, and it is also used extensively as a waste disposal system by industrial facilities in all three states. The river basin has a total population of 7,600,000 (IBGE/2000 Census). The integrated water management initiative is a model of sustainable management for this important river basin to guarantee water for future use.

The establishment of a committee (CEIVAP) comprising 60 members from Central government, 9 state governments, local authorities, research institutes, industries and water users is a complex and effective model of partnership. The objectives were to implement a pioneering and fully operational management system and establish a set of instruments in compliance with the Brazilian National Water Resources Policy and the respective Federal Act 9433/97. CEIVAP thus obtained resources for structural interventions in environmental remediation and improvement of water availability in a river basin. The committees also introduced billing for water use covering large portions of three key States: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais, with 180 municipalities all characterized by extreme economic, social, and political heterogeneity. The discussions and approval of water billing rates took into account users’ economic interests and involved various sectors and participation at various levels in the Committee

The initiative has been successful in implementing structural interventions in the water supply, sewage treatment, waste collection, drainage, and slope stabilization in order to arrest and reverse environmental degradation and ensure the availability of water resources. This type of management system involves participation by society as a whole in the preservation and use of rivers (some 127,000 liters of water per second are drawn from this river basin every day, used for household, industrial, and irrigation purposes), including a sustainable water supply for 14.4 million inhabitants, 80% of whom are in Greater Metropolitan Rio de Janeiro. A Programme for Participatory Mobilization was established to ensure decentralized and participatory management. The sensitization campaign was realized through the Waterway Environmental Education Programme.

Back to top

BioSand Filter International Technology Transfer, Canada

The purpose of the initiative to disseminate BioSand filter technology (BSF), to as many people as possible, in a short period of time and in such a way that the technology is used effectively and consistently. The BioSand filter (BSF) is a household water treatment device that is capable of improving water quality by removing a large percentage of disease causing microorganisms in water. Concrete BSFs cost between US$12 and US$30, and have minimal operating costs.

Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), and its predecessors, Davnor Water Treatment and David Manz, developed a training program, which enables BSFs to be built with good quality control, by local communities using local materials. Tens of thousands of BSFs are now used in over 30 developing countries, and impact the lives many people worldwide. The BSF user education program encourages users to adopt a multi-barriered approach to the prevention of water disease. It includes education on sanitation and hygiene as well as water treatment. International NGOs, including Rotary Clubs, Mercy Ships, Medair and Samaritans Purse incorporate BSFs in their international development programs overseas, and, national NGOs in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ecuador, Ghana and Uganda are working with CAWST to introduce the technology to other NGOs and government agencies in their countries. Furthermore, agencies in many countries, have adapted the BSF design to suit their in-country environment. Students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina and the University of Waterloo are all conducting research projects on the BSF. Government agencies and NGOs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are participating with CAWST and several international agencies in developing a model for building capacity in household water treatment in those countries, focusing on the BSF as the primary enabling technology.

The Biosand filter has gained acceptance as a viable household water treatment technology, by international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Research Council (IRC) and the International Water Association (IWA).

Back to top

Rehabilitation of Urban Areas - Guarapiranga Project - Brazil

The Guarapiranga Water basin is located in the northern part of Sao Paulo region of Brazil and extends into Embu-Guaco and Itapecerica Da Serra municipalities. The Environmental Sanitation Program of the Guarapiranga Water basin started in 1993, aiming to guarantee the water quality of the Guarapiranga Reservoir, through corrective actions including basic sanitation infrastructure and capacity building for fresh water management. The implementation was based on the concerted efforts of state and local authorities with financial support from the World Bank.

The Guarapiranga Reservoir presently supplies nearly 25 percent of the drinking water to the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area (SPMA). The urban informal settlements (more then 190 different slums) had progressively expanded into the lower part of the basin, near the reservoir. The rehabilitation and expansion of the Guarapiranga area entailed relocation and resettling of the slum dwellers. The works included new streets, paving, drainage, channeling of streams and waste collection. The population participated in the process of architectural design and civil works by offering suggestions on the most suitable design solutions.

The implementing authorities also developed a proposal for the Guarapiranga Water-basin Management agency which involved an environmental master plan for the water basin integrating sectoral plans for land use, sewerage, solid waste and water quality.

As a result of the programme the following has been achieved:

• Construction of basic infrastructure for 190 slums, home to 20,000 families (or 100,000 inhabitants);
• 264 kms of sewer network to serve 80% of the 580,000 inhabitants of the Guarapiranga Water-basin;
• Drainage construction and restoration of 13 sq. km. of urban areas which had deteriorated due to insufficient drainage
• Land-use planning and the resettlement of 4,000 families living in high-risk sites with construction of houses averaging 42 m2.

Back to top