Category Archives: Technology

The Nano Membrane Toilet – new funding and video

The Nano Membrane Toilet – new funding and video. Nano Membrane Toilet Blog, November 25, 2016. nano_membrane_toilet

Cranfield University’s Nano Membrane Toilet project has landed a major funding boost to secure the next phase of development of a novel and sustainable sanitation solution for the benefit of the huge number of people around the world who currently have no hope of being able to access a clean and affordable toilet in their home.

Dr Alison Parker, from the Cranfield Water Science Institute, said; “This is a great moment; the new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support our research teams in water, energy and design to tackle the considerable challenge of turning the laboratory prototype Nano Membrane Toilet into a product for the marketplace.”

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Google Maps will soon help people find clean toilets

Google Maps will soon help people find clean toilets. TechnoBuffalo, November 25, 2016.

Gotta go? Soon you might be able to quickly pull up Google Maps to find the nearest toilet. According to IBTimes, Google is working with India’s Ministry of Urban Development to kickstart a program that will add that feature in India. outhouse-630x475

The news outlet said Google is trialing the service in one specific region, NCR, between November 16 and November 30, but the government hopes to one day expand to the entire country. The goal is to provide residents with access to clean, healthy facilities likely in an effort to cut down on illnesses and disease that can spread from dirty bathrooms and other unsanitary places.

“People will first need to open Google Maps, and then search for toilets near them,” a source told IBTimes. “They can search for a variety of keywords, like ‘toilet’, ‘lavatory’, ‘swach’, ‘swachhata’, ‘shulabh’ or ‘shauchalay’, and Google will point them to the nearest toilets.”

Read the complete article.

Webinar: Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) in Water and Sanitation

The RWSN secretariat announces the latest webinar of their mini-series 2016, which will take place on1 6.11.2016. The title of the event is “A tool for Monitoring the Scaling up of Water and Sanitation Technologies (TAF – Technology Applicability Framework)” and it will focus on the use of the TAF, which has been presented and discussed previously at the SuSanA Forum (here). The session will take place in English (2-3 PM Central European Time, please check your local time here) and in Spanish (4-5 PM Central European Time, please check your local time here). Thee two presenters and the titles of their presentations are:

  • Joshua Briemberg, WaterAid, Nicaragua: TAF as a participative planning and monitoring tool
  • Younes Hassib, GIZ, Germany: Scaling up sanitation solutions in Afghanistan

After the two presentations, you will have the chance to ask questions and participate in the on-line Q&A session and discussion around this topic.

Please use this link in order to register for the sessions.

Recordings and presentations of previous sessions of this mini-series of webinars are available for download and viewing here.

For more information on the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF), please visit: washtechnologies.net/en

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Indestructible and smart: public toilet innovation in India

An interview with sanitation entrepreneur Mayank Midha.

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Stainless steel GARV Ttoilets and Mayank Midha

As a child, Mayank Midha remembers how his mother and sister suffered during long distance journeys in India. They had to “hold themselves up” because there were hardly any decent public toilets on the way.

There is still a shortage of well-maintained public toilets in India, says Mayank. This affects women and girls most. Men can more easily urinate or defecate in the open.

Indestructible toilets

On 7 September 2016, Mayank Midha won the Sanitation Innovation Accelerator 2016, a search for an inclusive and sustainable solution for rural sanitation in India. The judges praised Mayank for developing an indestructible smart toilet, which is much cheaper than comparable models without comprising on quality.

Mayank has been in the manufacturing business for the past seven years. As an engineer with a post-graduate degree in rural management, he is interested in technical solutions for the poorest people at the “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP). After completing a project to manufacture telecom enclosure panels, he saw three spare panels lying in the factory. Their structure  made Mayank think, why not change some specifications and use them to construct Portable Smart Toilets?

After a year a prototype was ready in 2015 and in 2016 the stainless steel insulated GARV Toilet was born. Solar panels power LED lights and exhaust fans inside the toilet. Using stainless steel for the superstructure, toilet pans, and washbasins has multiple advantages: the units are vandal-proof, easy to clean and they don’t rust. This means a higher shelf-life with lower operating costs.

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Don’t think of treatment plants: building factories to meet the sanitation SDGs

Rwanda  - Pivot fecal sludge treatment 1

Pivot Works factory in Kigali, Rwanda. From left to right: Fecal sludge receiving tank, flocculation tanks, mechanical dewatering machine. Photo: Ashley Muspratt

4,900 days from now, in 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals will expire.  If that feels like a long time, consider the work ahead.  And by work, I dare not attempt to wrap my head around all 17 goals; I refer specifically to the WASH goal – SDG #6 – and even more specifically to the sanitation targets.

From my admittedly invested perch – I run a sanitation company – the most exciting thing about transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs is the belated inclusion of treatment.  There’s finally recognition that “improved sanitation” without treatment is not improved sanitation.  The WASH community’s new mandate: “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally” (SDG 6.3).  But consider that the urban population still requiring “safely managed sanitation” today stands at 3.214 billion [1]. Serving them entails expanding safe management, i.e., some form of treatment, to 625,000 people each day for the next 4,900 days.  That’s basically a city a day.

How can we achieve such a massive expansion of safe fecal sludge and wastewater management?  For starters, let’s stop building treatment plants. Heresy? There’s a better way.

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The Guardian – Can mapping faecal flows cut the crap in developing cities?

Can mapping faecal flows cut the crap in developing cities? | Source: The Guardian, June 16, 2016 |

Human waste often ends up in drains, rivers, fields and on beaches, but fast growing cities can use data grabs to improve their sanitation conditions

Rapid urbanisation in many parts of the developing world is putting an increasing strain on the ability of cities to deliver critical services such as water and sanitation. More than half of the world’s population – 54% – live in urban areas and some 700 million of them do not use an improved sanitation facility, where human waste is separated from human contact.

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Children fish on a river bank in one of downtown Jakarta’s slum areas next to public toilets. Photograph: Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images

But even where there are such facilities, this does not necessarily translate into environmentally safe practices. More than two billion people in urban areas use toilets connected to septic tanks or latrine pits that are not safely emptied or that discharge raw sewage into open drains or surface waters. With another 2.5 billion people expected to live in cities by 2050, authorities urgently need to keep up with the growing urban population, ensure equitable access to improved sanitation, and safeguard the appropriate and environmentally-safe management of human waste.

Believe it or not, mapping the journey of faecal waste is an important part of the solution. IRC’s new sanitation assessment tool offers a simple representation of the volumes of sludge safely (and unsafely) dealt with at each stage of the sanitation chain, allowing city planners to determine where the biggest losses are and where to focus their (often limited) budgets.

Although tools to assess faecal sludge management (FSM) do already exist, they are either not able to include qualitative information or the scorecards they provide do not give adequate explanations for a bad score, nor do they provide actual volumes, which makes it difficult to translate the results into action. IRC’s tool, however, analyses the availability and enforcement of policy and legislation, and the presence of and adherence to health and safety through specific scorecards.

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Top Technologies in Environment & Sustainability 2016 – Research and Markets

Top Technologies in Environment & Sustainability 2016 – Research and Markets | Source: Business Wire, May 19 2016bwlogo_extreme

This research report highlights the top ten environmental technologies that increases the earth’s sustainability and are projected to make the highest impact in the near and medium terms. The technologies have been filtered from a wide spectrum of atmospheric, land-based, water and general environmental technologies using TechVision’s proprietary selection methodology. The assessment criteria cover patenting activity, funding, market potential, Mega Trend impact, regional adoption potential, sectors of economic impact, technology disruptiveness, and the environment and sustainability cluster evolution.

Each section on the top technologies present an overview of market trends and potential, patent landscape, funding, application impact, Mega Trend impact, disruptiveness, regional trends, innovators, and key strategic planning points.

The top ten technologies in environment and sustainability are food waste upcycling, membrane biofilm wastewater treatment, micro irrigation, off-grid desalination, particulate air pollution control, point source carbon dioxide reduction, precision agriculture, waste-to-energy, wastewater membrane filtration and wastewater nutrient recovery

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