Wikipedia, sanitation and climate change topics - explaining the linkages

1402 views

  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

There is an interesting Wikipedia edit-a-thon coming up that I'd like to draw your attention to. It is aimed towards Wikipedia novices and African researchers with an interest in climate change. It's organised by CDKN (Climate & Development Knowledge Network) and Future Climate for Africa (FCFA).
More information here: https://cdkn.org/2020/11/news-join-our-online-edit-a-thon-to-contribute-climate-change-information-to-wikipedia/?loclang=en_gb

Why am I telling you about this even though their topic is not on WASH? Well, it's because I think it is up to us to insert content at the intersection of climate change and WASH into the relevant Wikipedia articles. We know there are a lot of links, for example climate change causing increased flooding, extreme weather events, water scarcity and what does that mean for the design of sanitation systems. Or the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from septic tanks or wastewater treatment plants.

Or any of the other topics that we have discussed in this sub-category: https://forum.susana.org/195-climate-change-and-sanitation

It could be as simple as inserting the publications that people have discussed in this sub-category as references in the appropriate places in Wikipedia articles.

Further benefits of SuSanA members joining this online edit-a-thon include:
- We can see how they engage African researches in knowledge sharing
- You can improve your Wikipedia editing skills
- You can learn more about WASH and climate change and how they are interlinked
- Even if you just edit a little (like one hour) it will help them with their outputs.

There will be certificates for participation, and prizes for the most engaged volunteers. A total of 10 participants will receive a prize of USD 50 in vouchers of their choice.

More information here: https://cdkn.org/2020/11/news-join-our-online-edit-a-thon-to-contribute-climate-change-information-to-wikipedia/?loclang=en_gb

Sign-up sheet here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecRvpnnpsJbSl4htub4ZpkpKew-ArgcgGNFzo2XdV-PsZFOg/viewform?usp=sf_link

I'll be participating!

Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

For anyone contemplating doing some Wikipedia editing (like Hajo here about vermitechnology), I want to point out this well-written and comprehensive guide about Wikipedia editing:

Baker, E., McNamara, L., Mackay, B., and Vincent, K. (2020). How to contribute climate change information to Wikipedia - A guide for researchers, practitioners and communicators. Cape Town: Climate and Development Knowledge Network and Future Climate for Africa.
https://www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resources-and-publications/library/details/3935 

It's pretty big (60 pages) but you don't need to read it from cover to cover but just jump straight to the section that interests you, for example "Chapter 4: How to edit Wikipedia".

Enjoy,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • Chaiwe
  • Chaiwe's Avatar
  • Independent consultant (strategic planning, project management and M&E in WASH, climate action and, gender and HIV) and Part-time Solid Waste Management Lecturer at the University of Zambia.
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 48

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Dear Elisabeth,

I just had a look at my calendar and noticed that we are now on day 2 of the edit-a-thon. How is it going so far? I am signing up currently and looking at contributing some experiences from the African continent. 

I especially appreciate the SuSanA links that you have shared showing the discussions that have been had here with respect to the linkages between climate change and the sanitation sector, I believe this is an upcoming focus more broadly for the WASH sector, for example, the Stockholm World Water Week this year carried the theme: “Water and Climate Change: Accelerating Action”.

I wonder if some of our users from the Wacclim project are aware and have signed up? 

Chaiwe
SuSanA Forum Moderator
(With financial support from WSSCC (now SHF))

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaiwe-mushauko-sanderse-21709129/
Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Hi Chaiwe,

Thanks for asking and for joining the event which is continuing through to 1 December. It's going well so far! We are using Slack and daily live sessions on Zoom to interact with the participants and to train them in Wikipedia editing. We have about 100 people signed up and editing so far.

We have pre-selected about 80 Wikipedia articles from the climate change field that we want to work on collaboratively. Some of them also deal with water, sanitation, energy, agriculture issues, see here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Online_edit-a-thon_on_climate_change_-_November_2020#Articles_to_work_on

Apart from you and Arno, I haven't seen any familiar names from the sanitation sector at the event which is a pity. Arno pointed out that the Wikipedia article on disaster risk reduction is of high relevance to climate change folks and also the sanitation folks. 

Here is a 7-minute segment that I did during the opening webinar on Tuesday to explain to people how they can get started with this edit-a-thon and with Wikipedia editing:



This is also a great one by Phoebe about why and how to edit Wikipedia for climate change topics (30 minutes long):



Enjoy! And it's not yet too late to join in the event between now and 1 December, and pick up the new skill of Wikipedia editing!
All the information is here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Online_edit-a-thon_on_climate_change_-_November_2020 

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • Chaiwe
  • Chaiwe's Avatar
  • Independent consultant (strategic planning, project management and M&E in WASH, climate action and, gender and HIV) and Part-time Solid Waste Management Lecturer at the University of Zambia.
  • Posts: 141
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 48

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Dear Elisabeth,

I gave it a go at editing and inserting content on WASH on some of the climate change topics and the experience was a good one but did raise some questions. 

I would like to find out if there has been a review with respect to the articles that require editing particularly with respect to identifying gaps that are relevant to WASH. I noticed most of the articles on climate change leave very little room for cross-sectoral input, and trying to incorporate aspects or concepts of sanitation into the topics seemed a little challenging.

Are there any pointers or opportunities to review or assess how to add cross-sectoral input into 'sector tight'  or very topic-focused articles?

Chaiwe
SuSanA Forum Moderator
(With financial support from WSSCC (now SHF))

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaiwe-mushauko-sanderse-21709129/
Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Hi Chaiwe,

That's an interesting question. When I took part in the climate change edit-a-thon I felt there were a lot of interesting linkages between climate change and water resources, but not quite as many linkages with the sanitation side. With sanitation, our inputs are mainly related to aspects of climate change adaptation, like sanitation systems that are more resilient, better equipped to deal with droughts or flooding and so forth. A little bit perhaps on mitigation when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions for utilities or lowering greenhouse gas emissions from septic tanks (but not that significant in the scheme of overall CO2 emissions from transport, heating and industrial production). On the side of water supply and water resources, the connections seem to be more far reaching and directly relate to the changes in climate in different countries.

I think my strategy would be to first start with the smaller, more specialised sub-articles before later tackling also the broader, bigger Wikipedia articles. For example, these articles below are still small and have relatively low view rates but could benefit from more content on water and sanitation topics:

Climate change and agriculture
Smallholder farming
Water in Africa
Water scarcity in Africa
Disaster risk reduction
Climate resilience
Adaptive capacity
Climate change and cities

Another way to find Wikipedia articles to work on is to look at the table that was put together by WikiProject Climate Change here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Climate_change/Assessment 

The team have grouped 2600 Wikipedia articles that have something to do with climate change by importance and by quality. If you click on the numbers inside of the table you can view e.g. those articles that are very important but of low quality so far. 

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Coincidentally, just after writing my post about mitigation potential of sanitation, I read a forum post about container based sanitation here  which led me to this factsheet which stated that: "Sanitation is a significant contributor, producing roughly 2–6% of global man-made methane" and "Findings from a new, scientifically robust sanitation emissions impact calculator, demonstrate that container-based sanitation (CBS) can significantly reduce global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from sanitation".

I haven't yet had time to verify this statement by looking at the sources in detail. But if it's reliable then this could be an important figure to keep in mind (and to insert into relevant Wikipedia articles).
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • arno
  • arno's Avatar
  • Senior Research Fellow Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Posts: 321
  • Karma: 20
  • Likes received: 178

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Climate change and sanitation is actually a broader subject than one first imagines.

Since WASH has been declared a human right - access to water for WASH is fundamental to climate change adaptation priorities. www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/about/a...giene/climate-change
And some suggest that sanitation is central to addressing climate change. sdg.iisd.org/commentary/guest-articles/a...l-sanitation-crisis/

As Elizabeth mentions sanitation is made dysfunctional by both flooding and drought. WHO provides a guideline on addressing these questions. www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/.../WHOGuidanceFVLR.pdf

When it comes to technical solutions there are several things to think about eg separate systems (storm water pipes kept separate from sewer pipes), backflow valves, dry toilets instead of flush systems, etc.
See from the US on backflow valves: safeseal.net/basement-waterproofing/over...ewer-backup-systems/  
And from Cameroon on dry toilets: 
repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/conferen...ng_countries/9586733

To examine flood risks, one can look at www.floodmap.net and do scenarios for chosen locations based on elevation. 

Much of the above needs to be turned into synopses in Wikipedia. Searching for articles on these topics will reveal which articles are missing or need improvement.  

Regards
Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.sei.org
www.ecosanres.org
You need to login to reply
  • goeco
  • goeco's Avatar
  • Self employed innovator with an interest in wastewater treatment systems and recycling of nutrients
  • Posts: 301
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 180

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Elisabeth,
I would suggest that most of the sanitation-contributed methane is produced by anaerobic systems such as septic tanks and borda dewats. Modern anaerobic treatment plants use the methane but onsite systems do not. If these last-century systems were replaced with aerobic treatment systems such as vermifiltration this would achieve far greater mitigation than container-based sanitation.
I'll also point out that the Wikipedia articles "Onsite sewage facility" and "Decentralized wastewater system" (which really should be one article) do not mention this fundamental difference between systems.
cheers
Dean
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com
The following user(s) like this post: hajo, Heiner
You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia online edit-a-thon on climate change topics, 24 November to 1 December (by CDKN and FCFA)

Hi Arno,

Thanks for your comments and links. You are a fountain of knowledge as usual! I have tried to transcribe it into Wikipedia-type language and have added it to the section on "climate change" within the Wikipedia article on sanitation.

Please help improving this further (it's still missing some good references; e.g. I didn't want to use that Cameroon paper as a reference for the general statement that dry toilets are an adaptation option).

It now looks like this (I've also copied it at the end of this post):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitation#Climate_change

Hi Dean,
I agree with your comments. The information about methane emissions from septic tanks and other anaerobic treatment systems is still lacking in the Wikipedia articles - more work to be done. I have also written about it here on the talk page:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sanitation

About merging these two Wikipedia articles:
Onsite sewage facility
Decentralized wastewater system

I am not too sure if they should be merged. That onsite one is the older one and it's focused on the US, mostly septic tanks. I don't think it's a very good article. The one on decentralized systems was created later and is more about slightly bigger systems than just septic tanks. I guess they could be merged but it would require quite a bit of thinking. For example, what exactly would the title of the new merged article be? Is decentralised wastewater system the correct overarching term?

Overall, I think it's good if we build up the climate change content in the sanitation articles. In addition we should also add sanitation content to the relevant climate change articles, e.g. climate change adaptation, mitigation, effects of climate change on humans .
Is anyone up for helping with that?

Regards,
Elisabeth

Climate change  (this is a sub-heading in the Wikipedia article on sanitation)

Climate change  can have negative impacts on existing sanitation services in several ways: damage and loss of services from  floods  and reduced carrying capacity of waters receiving wastewater. [60]  The sanitation sector is already affected in many different ways by "weather and climate-related phenomena such as variability, seasonality and  extreme weather  events". [61] :3 Extreme weather events, such as floods and  droughts , are increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change. They affect the operation of  water supply storm drainage  and  sewerage  infrastructure, and  wastewater treatment plants . [62]  A publication by  WHO  provides guidance on how  adaptation policies  should consider these risks from extreme weather events. [62]

Technical solutions for climate change adaption for sanitation systems can include separate systems (storm water pipes kept separate from sewer pipes), backflow valves on sewers ( backflow prevention devices ),  dry toilets  instead of flush toilets, locating sanitation infrastructure outside of flood zones if possible.

Water and sanitation services contribute to  greenhouse gas emissions . It has been estimated that sanitation services produce roughly 2–6% of global man-made  methane , one of the greenhouse gases. [63]  Septic tanks, pit latrines,  anaerobic lagoons anaerobic digesters  are anaerobic treatment processes and thus emit methane which may or may not be captured (usually not captured in the case of septic tanks).

To reduce those emissions, the following can be done: Choice of wastewater treatment technologies, improved pumping efficiency, use of  renewable sources of energy , and within-system generation of energy offer potential for reducing emissions. [60]   Sustainable sanitation  systems can lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by producing renewable energy in the form of  biogas , heat recovery or directly from excreta. [64]  These options have additional  mitigation  potential.

Researchers at the  International Institute for Sustainable Development  (IISD) have found in 2017 that "nearly all National Adaptation Plans published by the  UN Framework Convention for Climate Change  identify improving sanitation and hygiene as a priority". [65]

Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3202
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 869

Re: Wikipedia, sanitation and climate change topics - explaining the linkages

The briefing note by SWA put it quite nicely to show how the information exchange is a two-way street:

The coordination of climate and water and sanitation agendas is bidirectional. On one hand, climate policy makers need to better understand the important role water and sanitation can play in mitigation, and importantly the need to adapt to climate change,
including the most often forgotten areas of sanitation and hygiene. Indeed, water and
sanitation need to feature more prominently in National Adaptation Plans and can
contribute to national commitments made to the climate Paris Agreement.

Water and sanitation policy makers also need to understand how climate processes work and
integrate climate considerations into national water and sanitation policies.

Source:  www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/sites/d...Climate%20Change.pdf (page 17)
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.309 seconds