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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

There are 2.4 billion people without improved sanitation and another 2.1 billion with inadequate sanitation (i.e. wastewater drains directly into surface waters), and despite improvements over the past decades, the unsafe management of fecal waste and wastewater continues to present a major risk to public health and the environment (UN, 2016). To ensure that SDG 6, which focuses on water and sanitation, integrates the impacts and benefits to nature conservation, development and human well-being, the following key questions need to be considered: How can nature help achieve sanitation goals? 
How can achieving sanitation goals help nature? 
It is often difficult for wastewater utility managers to know whether to incorporate natural infrastructure into their planning, how best to find a suitable mix of grey and green infrastructure, and how to choose among the menu of possible types of green infrastructure. Many professionals, technicians and regulators, are hesitant to implement nature-based solutions, because the mechanisms at play are not well understood and controlled. This proposed working group aims to examine how wastewater utilities and their regulators can implement nature-based sanitation solutions into wastewater treatment facilities while also providing benefits to nature and encouraging biodiversity. Building on existing research and examples of good practice, a guidance document will be developed demonstrating how these solutions promote a healthy environment for nature and people. a policy brief to translate the science to decision makers and a communications strategy to guide implementation partners to take the guidance forward. Using the information collated in the development of the guidance, a scientific publication with GIS analysis of urban sewage run-off, will focus on how implementation of SDG 6 (with a focus on sanitation) impacts ecosystems downstream. 
The SNAPP working group will contribute to SDG 6, but also be positioned to influence sanitation providers and regulators to design and integrate wastewater treatment facilities with ecosystems in a way that benefits ecological and human health. The process will endeavor to inspire wastewater utilities and regulatory authorities to incorporate the guidance into their operation and planning.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Katharine Cross

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2018

End: December 31, 2020

active

Participants

Justin Abbott
Arup Group
Vicenç Acuña
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
Lisa M. Andrews
LMA Water Consulting
Natasa Atanasova
University of Ljubljana
Robert K Bastian
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Laura Castañares
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
Florent Chazarenc
Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture (IRSTEA)
Joaquim Comas
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
Lluis Corominas
Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
Katharine Cross
International Water Association Bangkok Office
Ajith Edathoot
Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)
Ganapathy Ganeshan
Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society
Michael Gardner
The Nature Conservancy
Robert Gearheart
Humboldt State University
Tjaša Griessler Bulc
University of Ljubljana
Irene Groot
University of Leiden
Samuela Guida
International Water Association
Darja Istenič
University of Ljubljana
Andrews Jacob
Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society
Rose Kaggwa
National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)
Nathan Karres
The Nature Conservancy
Ulrike Kelm
International Water Association
Günter Langergraber
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
Andressa Mansur
German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)
Fabio Masi
IRIDRA
Sara Mason
Duke University
Robert I. McDonald
The Nature Conservancy
Ania Morvannou
Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environement et l'agriculture (IRSTEA
Rohini Pradeep
Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society
Bernhard Pucher
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
Stefan Reuter
Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)
William Thurston
International Water Association
Katharina Tondera
Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture (IRSTEA)
Rui Veras
International Water Association
Alex Viwat Campbell
Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)
Stephanie Wear
The Nature Conservancy

Products

  1. Report or White Paper / 2019

    Development and testing of a decision-support system to facilitate the implementation of Nature-based solutions for urban water sanitation.

  2. Presentations / 2019

    Using nature-based solutions across the globe in wastewater treatment for improved water quality and other benefits for nature and people

  3. Journal Article / 2021

    Sewage pollution, declining ecosystem health, and cross-sector collaboration

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