Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures (UNESCO)

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Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures (UNESCO)

I would like to inform you about a new project that is underway (just started last month) at UNESCO which involves updating and rewriting the book "Sanitation and Disease Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management" by Feachem et al, 1983.

The information about the project below was sent to me by Anaïs Chagankerian from UNESCO who's asked me to post it.


Title of grant: Global Water Pathogen Project
- Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures to replace Sanitation and Disease Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management by Feachem et al, 1983.


Name of lead organization: UNESCO
Primary contact at lead organization: Blanca Jiménez-Cisneros, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Water Sciences, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Bruno Nguyen, Consultant at UNESCO, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Grantee location: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
Developing country where the project will take place: The project has a global scope
Start and end date: 3 November 2015 - 30 April 2017 (extended until March 2018)
Grant type: Other
Grant size in USD: 300,000 USD as per BMGF grant database here


Short description of the project:

This Global Water Pathogen Project is aimed at developing a knowledge resource to guide future goals for achieving safe water. It aims at helping to reduce mortality linked to water pathogens (in particular viruses, bacteria, protists and helminths) and the lack of safe drinking water and basic sanitation through creating, publishing and disseminating the state-of-the-art replacement of the current benchmark reference work on water related disease risks and intervention measures, the book “Sanitation and Disease: Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management” (Feachem et al. 1983).

This book has not been rewritten in more than 30 years. Current information technologies, such as a collaborative online platform that includes a book authoring tool, will help in re-writing and disseminating the new book in printed and electronic format. The book will be available in at least three official languages of the United Nations (French, English and Spanish) and following the open access policy of UNESCO. The book is inspired by the structure and scope of Feacham et al, but it will expand beyond it, in every respect.


Goal(s):

The goal of the project is to reduce mortality linked to waterborne pathogens and the lack of sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, mainly in the developing world, in support of the development of quantitative microbial risk assessment (a framework supported globally for developing management strategies), water security and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Objectives:

The project will compile new data available regarding emerging pathogens, new technologies for measuring pathogens, new information on pathogen occurrence and persistence and new means of treatment and their evaluation. It will then disseminate the new knowledge globally, through UNESCO’s and contributors’ networks and in international events, in order to improve the management of wastewater in the developing world and reduce mortality linked to enteric and diarrheal diseases.

The project will produce and publish a benchmark reference publication, under open access license and in at least three official languages of the United Nations (English, French and Spanish).

Knowledge will be gathered thanks to the online platform currently being developed by AgroKnow and which will present data on pathogens, key indicators, source tracking markers and pathogen risks from excreta.


Research or implementation partners: Michigan State University, USA, in charge of coordinating the online platform and the network of contributors.


Links, further readings – results to date: Project website: www.waterpathogens.org/


Current state of affairs:

A workshop is being prepared to take place in Ghana in May 2016. It is aimed at bringing together the Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP) network and end-users of the African region and different disciplines in order to optimize the scope and efficiency of the GWPP resource according to regional issues, experience and needs.


Biggest successes so far:

A worldwide network of more than 140 volunteering authors and editors, invited to contribute for their outstanding contribution to the field, has been built to write each chapter of the book. The online platform ( www.waterpathogens.org/ ) already presents the content of the book and the summaries of each chapter are progressively being uploaded.


Main challenges / frustration:

The main challenges linked to the project relate to the coordination of a very wide network of contributors.


Anaïs Chagankerian
Programme Assistant
International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
Division of Water Sciences
UNESCO
7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
France
www.unesco.org/water

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
E-mail us to get involved: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • muench
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Re: Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures (UNESCO)

I am really happy to see that this will be under an open access licence. :-) This means when it's done, we can use content from it to update the relevant Wikipedia pages which will be awesome.

I have a question regarding the focus on waterborne diseases. You said that

It aims at helping to reduce mortality linked to water pathogens (in particular viruses, bacteria, protists and helminths)

However, not all helminths are waterborne (in fact many of them are not).
How about soil-transmitted helminths ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil-transmitted_helminthiasis ) or the fecally transmitted infections (i.e. not transmitted via water but via soil or faeces directly)? See e.g. here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/163-en...s-by-robert-chambers

This is closely linked to waterborne diseases and should therefore be part of the book? I know that the project leader, Blanca Jiménez-Cisneros, is very active in research on helminths (see e.g. her helminth identification project here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/207-de...e-mexico-unam-mexico ) - so I am sure that she will ensure this is not forgotten about, I am just puzzled by the terminology used ("water pathogens such as helminths").

Also you said that:

in order to improve the management of wastewater in the developing world

shouldn't it say "management of wastewater and excreta", i.e. including such sanitation systems which do not rely on water to transport the excreta?

Perhaps this is just semantics, but I just wanted to be sure I fully understand the scope and focus of this planned book. It certainly sounds like a great project!

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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Re: Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures (UNESCO)

I have enquired with the project owners regarding an update of this project: "Publishing a state-of-the-art reference work on water-related disease risks and intervention measures" as the end date was given as April 2017.

Here is the information received from Fernando Avakian in two e-mails:

++++++++

Dear Elisabeth,

I am Fernando Avakian, a consultant at UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.
I am writing to you concerning the advances in the Global World Pathogen Project, which involves updating and rewriting the book "Sanitation and Disease Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management" by Feachem et al (1983).

The project has not still finished, and its publication is expected for March 2018. Nonetheless, some chapters are already published on the online platform www.waterpathogens.org/ . About 19% of the book’s content is ready and is accessible via the website, although many of the chapters are almost ready and in process of being peer reviewed.

We would be happy if people can provide feedback on the book by posting in the forum. (And we would be most grateful if you can alert us to any reaction or opinion on the project.)
Moreover, comments can also be sent via the GWPP website ( www.waterpathogens.org/about ).

I thank you for your message and please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues with any query you might have.

With the best regards,
Fernando Avakian

++++++++++

I also checked with Fernando regarding the two questions I had posted above on 17 December 2015 and he replied as follows:

Concerning your question on helminths, we will consult it with the specialists on that subject, and I will get back to you.

As to the phrase “in order to improve the management of wastewater in the developing world”, we consider that it is not needed to add “and excreta”, since management of excreta is not treated in the book as a subject in itself.


I took another look at the table of content for this book ( www.waterpathogens.org/toc )
and there will be a chapter on this topic:
Persistence of Pathogens in Sludges, Soils and other Solids
www.waterpathogens.org/node/290

which I am very happy about it. It seems to me that wastewater management will take up most of the room in this book but they haven't forgotten about excreta management either, in the forum of sludges at least. Although fecal sludge management as a particular kind of sludge does not seem to be a big topic in the book which is a pity (or perhaps I overlooked it).

Dean will be happy to see the content of this chapter (not yet available):
Assessment of the safety of the Biofil digester sanitation system for effluent discharge to soil in Accra, Ghana?
www.waterpathogens.org/node/3341

Overall, this will be a huge book when it is finished! So glad it will be in open access mode.

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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