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Modern Agriculture

02 Mar 12

Durban: Linking Water and Sanitation Provision to Energy Saving and Food Security

by University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)

Designing and constructing a decentralised wastewater treatment system at the “Newlands-Mashu Permaculture Learning Centre”

In South Africa, the situation is different to many countries in the world because the government grants free access to basic water (300l/household/day) and sanitation for all. Tapping on the resources provided by treated wastewater, the municipality promotes healthy communities through a holistic and sustainable approach to urban agriculture that embraces organic farming principles based on low input costs.

In this context, the German non-profit “Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association” (BORDA) is collaborating with the Municipal Water and Sanitation utility and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in designing and constructing a decentralised wastewater treatment system (commonly referred to as DEWATS) at the “Newlands-Mashu Permaculture Learning Centre” – one of the municipality’s six support hubs under its “Agroecology Programme”. The DEWATS, receiving up to 40 m3/d of domestic wastewater from 85 households of a surrounding residential area, runs by gravity only - no machinery or energy inputs are required. Instead, biogas is collected and used for cooking.

Today over 1,000 DEWATS treating 1-1,000 m3/d serve settlements, small and medium enterprises or institutions. Their potential applies to sites, where population density is too big to apply individual household sanitation solutions like latrines and where a connection to the public sewer system is economically not feasible due to distance, topography or limits of the sewer network and/or the receiving treatment works.

In recognition of ‘BORDA’s technology innovation that transforms sanitation service delivery in low income urban settlements’, BORDA has been announced as winner of the IWA Development Solutions Award in the 2011 cycle.

  • Chris Buckley, Head Pollution Research Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Stefan Reuter,Project-Coordinator South-Africa/Lesotho, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association, BORDA

Related Resources

Presentation

Durban: Linking Water and Sanitation Provision to Energy Saving and Food Security

by University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)

Further Reading

19 Sep 11

Sustainable and Productive Sanitation is a Perfect Example of the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus

31 Oct 12

On 26 October 2012 the STEPS Centre and SOAS ran a joint event to discuss the connections made between water, energy, food and climate, and the tendency to frame these issues in terms of “security”.

07 Nov 11

Three expert views on the Nexus

NEXUS in the Media

12 Dec 11

Business Day (South Africa)

20 Feb 14

UN News Service

UN officials are cited here with their views on the nexus approach for water-energy-sanitation. They also take a look at what has or has not been achieved of the Millenium Goals and outline new 2015 goals.

19 Aug 12

The Guardian

Human waste attracts less funding than other development projects but Reinvent the Toilet challenge recognises that better hygiene can cut healthcare costs and prevent early deaths. A solar powered toilet that breaks down water and human waste into hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells has won first prize in a competition for next-generation toilets to improve sanitation in the developing world.

Partners

  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
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