Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

  • rob#
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Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

The SuSanA secretariat is currently planning to come up with a book compilation of all existing 13 thematic SuSanA fact sheets. A first draft version of the book that has been prepared for the Stockholm meeting in August 2011 and can be found here www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1229 .

Since the WG 5 fact sheet was one of the first SuSanA fact sheets that has been prepared way back in 2008, it is now more than 3 years old and slightly outdated already. We would therefore like to use the opportunity of the upcoming fact sheet publication (publishing date will be some time in early November 2011) for a bigger fact sheet overhaul and would like to collect inputs and feedback from the group on:

- Improvement needs
- Issues you feel that are not sufficiently covered yet
- Any need for updating figures/information/statements
- Any need for changing focus/target group etc.

The current version of the fact sheet (in doc and pdf format) you will find attached.

As to the process:
1. We are planning to collect the WG5 feedback in the coming 2 weeks and prepare an updated draft version by early October.
2. The draft version will then be first circulated among those who would like to be actively involved in the reviewing process
3. The final draft will be circulated for final feedback and approval among the WG5 members by end of October.

All who are interested and willing to be part of the reviewing team please kindly get back to us. Please also kindly let us know if you would like to offer any additional support in the fact sheet preparation (e.g. taking over of some of the chapters).

...and just for your information please find below some initial feedback on the current fact sheet version we got from the working group meeting in Stockholm a few weeks ago:
  • Target group: fact sheet is perceived as “the business card of the WG” and should therefore have quite a wide target group
  • Section on institutional and legal aspects/framework of resource reuse should be included (could include adapting WHO guidelines to national level)
  • Section on entrepreneur/food production/investor opportunities in reuse and possible challenges
  • More photos/figures in the document in general to make it more attractive to read
  • Overview of different options of transforming/treating the sanitation products to make them more attractive/increase value/reduce handling costs
  • Thresholds of reuse – an incremental approach would be to start promoting reuse on flowers, biomass (bamboo), above ground crops, reforestation…as a way to lower institutional/cultural resistance
  • The advantages of soil instead of water as receiving medium of human waste (breakdown of pathogens & uptake of nutrients) should be included
  • human interference with natural P and N cycles (humans convert more N from atmosphere into reactive forms than all the earth’s terrestrial processes combined, and more than half of that is via chemical fertilizers)
  • Relate importance of recycling of human excreta to the importance (in terms of nutrient quantity) of other nutrient loops/sources (organic waste, animal manure, chemical fertilizers)
  • The realization of “what we eat is what we excrete (in terms of nutrients)” important to include.
  • Lively examples of what it implies in terms of nutrients excreted on personal/family/national/continental/global level (SEI could provide input here)
  • Possibility of fish farming/algae-production as a way to reuse human excreta
  • Some info on medical residues/hormones related to reuse and subsequent risks + the advantage of adding to soil instead of water


Any additional inputs are more then welcome and we would kindly like to ask you to provide your feedback until September 18, 2011 at the very latest.

Thank you very much in advance and looking forward to your timely feedback

rob#
(Robert Gensch)



PS: For your feedback kindly use this forum or reply directly to the WG mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Robert Gensch

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  • mwink
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear Robert,

a excellent idea to review the agricultural fact sheet before it's compiled in the fact sheet book! Because, when it's in it's in and there won't be a new version coming up for at least a year or so.
However, usually our time is always too short and I can imagine that one or the other colleague won't have the time to thoroughly scan the whole document.
Therefore a question back to you: Did you already identify one or two sub-chapters/paragraphs which you think are out of date/ should be rewritten. etc?

If so, I hereby volunteer to have a thorough look on them! Also, I won't be able to go through the whole document this week.

Maybe it's even a general suggestion:
Why don't we search for 5-10 volunteers and split the review below us. Then it's just a bit for everybody which can easier be done between all the other tasks we have on our desks.

Looking forward what you and the others think about this suggestion.
Yours, Martina.

Research unit Water infrastructure and risk analyses
Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE)
Frankfurt, Germany

winker[AT]isoe.de
www.isoe.de
www.saniresch.de
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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear Robert,

Sorry I did not find the time to send comments on the WG 5 fact sheet. I am in Thailand now at the AVRDC, for the vegetable training course.

2 Comments I would like to make:

1.) In the section about Phosphate, I feel it would be good to quote more recent research (For instance Cordell 2009).

2. I feel we should see food security much more as a driver for ecosan. What I mean is that if we can start a project from an agriculture angle (teaching farmers to use urine collected with camber pots, buckets or eco-lilies) and so establish a demand for urine before we built UD toilets, the whole thing would be more sustainable.
I know there are more factors that determine the success of an ecosan intervention, but I am convinced that ecosan is still promoted too much from a toilets perspective and not from a agriculture angle.

So for the fact sheet, I would like to see a small paragraph (or long sentence) with the idea that food security can be used as a driver for projects, where as now it is used more as an added advantage.


Kind regards

Marijn Zandee

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  • rob#
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

Thank you very much for your valuable comments and suggestions so far. Based on the comments in this forum and some individual feedback I received via email during the last weeks I do belief that there is a need to restructure the current fact sheet version before we actually enter into rewriting certain identified chapters.

I will circulate a revised version (with a general structure suggestion) in the coming days for your feedback and comments and would highly appreciate if meanwhile some more WG members could indicate if they would be willing to take over a more active role in reviewing/rewriting some of the chapters in the coming weeks.

And maybe as an additional incentive: Those willing to actively contribute to this fact sheet awaits being listed as official authors of this publication. So don't hesitate ;-)

Thank you very much in advance and best regards

rob#

Robert Gensch

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  • rob#
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

Please find attached a first attempt to revise the current WG5 fact sheet version. The structure has been slightly changed. However, it still contains the old text blocks in the respective chapters (that in some parts still need rephrasing and shortening) plus additional comments and suggestions where further input is needed (highlighted in yellow). In addition it contains suggestions of names/organizations for each chapter, hoping that those persons/organizations can take over the responsibility for the said chapters (or at least support and contribute to the further development of those chapters).

Please note that the current doc version is just a working document which is not yet layouted and formated in order to allow for easy changes and editing in track change modus.

The currently suggested structure of the fact sheet is as follows:

- Executive Summary (incl. key take-aways, 1/2 page)
- The Link Between Sanitation, Agriculture and Food Security (meant as introductory part that shouldn't be longer than 1 1/2 pages max)
- The Productive Sanitation Approach (2 pages max, including small boxes for best practice examples that should fit on half a page altogether)
- Urban and Periurban Agri- and Aquaculture (1/2 page)
- Institutional and Legal Aspects (1/2 page)
- Business Opportunities (1/2 page)
- Public Health Implications (1 page)
- Future Challenges (1/2 page)
- References/ Further Links & Literature/ Authors (1 page)

I would like to encourage all of you to have a closer look at the current draft and provide your feedback and inputs by October 12, 2011 at the very latest on the following:

1. Current structure
2. Chapters you could imagine to actively contribute to
3. General comments and constructive feedback on the current version (e.g. what is missing, which figures need updating etc.)
4. Best practice examples you would like us to include in the fact sheet (in small boxes)
5. Further reading material and links you would like us to include in the further reading section
6. Pictures and figures you would like to see in the document
7. Concrete commitment to take over the drafting of specific chapters


As to taking over responsibilities for certain chapters - as a first shot - I would like to propose the following:

Urban & Periurban Agri- and Aquaculture --> RUAF
Institutional & Legal Framework --> SEI/Linus Dagerskog
Public Health implications --> GIZ/Martina Winker

This is just a suggestion and I am looking forward to your feedback, particularly from the mentioned persons and organizations.

Any further inputs and commitments from all other WG5 partners are of course highly appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance and looking forward to your timely feedback

rob#



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  • muench
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

I just thought I would post here the current version of the updated factsheet: Several people have in the meantime included their comments in the Word document. This has happened via the mailing list of WG 5 (which people find more convenient when it comes to sharing commented Word documents).

The attached file includes the comments of Arno Rosemarin, Philipp Feiereisen, Linus Dagerskog, Cecile Laborderie, Martina Winker and Robert Gensch. I love the way these factsheets become a collaborative effort of a quite a few SuSanA partners!
It is not yet too later to include your comments! Please send them as soon as possible. Time is running out, we should slowly begin to wrap it up and squeeze it all back to 8 pages (the 2-column format will help).

Oh and if you wonder about the mentioned mailing list: each working group has a moderated mailing list, whereby you can send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and with a short time delay (the moderator checks the e-mail), it will be delivered to all working group members (for most working groups, this is about 300 people or so). To get onto such a mailing list, ensure in your SuSanA login settings you have put a tick at the right working group. See here: www.susana.org/lang-en/your-details

If you have the feeling that something is not working with this mailing list, contact the working group lead (see their e-mail address on the SuSanA website under working group) or the secretariat on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • rob#
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

Please find attached the final draft version of the SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet on food security and productive sanitation.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of you for the valuable feedback and inputs we received during the last weeks. We tried hard to consider all your feedback, however, due to the fact that we had to squeeze everything onto 8 pages we were probably not able to include all the bits and pieces satisfactorily, so kindly bear with us.

Any final feedback and comments are still welcome and can be send either via the WG5 mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) our through the SuSanA forum until November 18 at the very latest.

Thanks again and looking forward to your final feedback

rob#




Robert Gensch

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  • muench
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dear all,

Here is another great factsheet coming up, thanks to the work of Robert Gensch and all the other co-authors and contributors. We are still making some last minute changes but I wanted to give you a chance to see it before it is published, so below you find the current version (in case anyone feels inclined to make comments in the Word document let me know and we can send it). But we are on the last stretch as the factsheet compilation is due to come out by Christmas.

Anyhow, there is one paragraph that I do not understand:

Only nitrogen can be extracted from the surrounding air but the industrial process is likewise energy-intensive and today strongly based on fossil fuels. Human activities now convert more nitrogen from the atmosphere into reactive forms than all of the earth´s terrestrial processes combined (Gruber and Galloway, 2008). This is four times the rate proposed as the planetary boundary for human modification of the nitrogen cycle, in order to avoid large-scale ecological impacts (Rockström et al., 2009). This indicates a double driver for excreta reuse - to reduce fossil fuel use and to reduce the input of reactive nitrogen in ecosystems.

I also checked the cited Rockström reference but could not grasp what is going on:
Rockström, J. et al. (2009) Planetary boundaries: Exploring the save operating space of humanity, Ecology and Society, 14(2), Art. 32, www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/

Can someone explain to me in simple terms what the problem should be with reactive nitrogen in ecosystems? Or is just referring to ammonia and nitrate polluting water sources, and using complicated wording?

By the way, Hakan Jönsson suggested that nitrogen reuse would even have a triple driver where the third one is reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

If anything is unclear for you in the factsheet, feel free to put it here.

Actually, I do have a second question: it comes from the gender factsheet (working group 7b) but it fits to the reuse group.

Does anyone know the right reference to cite for this sentence? We don't know anymore which IFAD reference was meant:

Worldwide, women own just 2% of all land (IFAD, 2008).

Edit on 6 January: this has in the meantime been investigated by Pay Drechsel, see his answer here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/60-wg-...der-factsheet-7b#829

And here is my third question:
About the issue of phosphorus shortage, the factsheet now says this:

How long the respective phosphorus and potassium reserves will still last is disputed as estimates depend on many factors, like the potential discovery of new reserves, increasing population growth and demand, increasing difficulty to extract reserves, and related market price developments (Cordell et al., 2009; Van Kauwenbergh, 2010; UNEP, 2011; USGS, 2011).

I am wondering if it would be worth mentioning in one sentence that increasingly, lower quality phosphorus will be mined (contaminated with uranium, which is radioactive) and that the phosphorus fertiliser prices are bound to go up over time due to the fact that the easily accessible phosphorus mines will be depleted (if I understood right).

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • HakanJonsson
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Dea Elisabeth,
Reactive nitrogen is ammonia, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite and nitrous oxides, NO and NO2. If I remember correctly, Rockström et al. worries mostly about too large emissions of nitrate being able to make also the oceans to become eutrophic and flip (i.e. to become anaerobic). This is better spelled out in their article in Nature: (Nature 461, 472-475 (24 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461472a; Published online 23 September 2009, www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/full/461472a.html ) They do however also mention the problems with nitrous oxide and the climate effect, but I do not remember that they explicitly mention the gas emissions of NH3, NO and NO2 are involved in forming particles (smog) hazardous to human health, but their wording indicates that they have had this also in mind. These particles related to NH3, NO and NO2 are Europe estimated to have quite a negative impact on health. In economic terms the negative impact of nitrogen, which mainly consists of the health hazard, is smaller, but of the same order as all the advantages of nitrogen fertilizers used in European agriculture(European nitrogen assessment).
All the best,
Håkan
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  • sjoerdnienhuys
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

In facsheet WG5 version December 2011 the following:

The Biogas reactor option for sanitation waste treatment should be included again. In rural Nepal ( www.bspnepal.org.np ) and India ( www.biotech-india.org )+(M.Naufel www.bioenergysystems.in ) linkage of house toilets to the biogas reactor is becoming more common ; probably also in China. With adequate retention period the patogens are greatly reduced and handling of the effluent is safe for agricultural purpose. In Nepal the effluent is co-composted with agricultural waste before application on land. In India human excreta based biogas reactors are in use. Adjusting the high Nitrogent content of human excreta can be corrected by adding shredded kitchen waste, having a higher Carbon content; this works best with pour-flush UDTs. Developing biogas for human excreta should be stimulated as it solves both part of the fertilizer and urban energy problems.

In the WHO figure #7, under barrier 1 possibly "transport" can be added.
In urban areas many people buy processed food. Where does this fit in?, or is a new barrier X required?.

Related to food production with wastewater the term 'hydroponic' has not been mentioned, but can be linked with urban (rooftop) agriculture.

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  • llaelv
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

It is an very great idea to re-use old flowers! When it comes to sustainability a lot of people tend to forget how much waste it can cause to order flowers via florists uk and then just toss them though you can do so many more productive things with them.
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  • sjoerdnienhuys
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

The latest version of the WG5 factsheet is more focussed on the rural housing setting and the possibilities for composting etc., than on the urban situation. The urban application is often limited by established thinking of public functionaries and restrictive legislation. On the other hand, more people will live in the future in urban areas than in rural areas. The factsheet can include possible changes required in the more urban environment, including reconstruction of buildings to accommodate UDT and UDDT, or biogas production that will produce safe-to-handle fertilizers. Vermicomposting or vermiculture is a process that produces concentrated fertilizer from compost, but is not mentioned in the factsheet. The concentrated compost can be used in decorative house plants (urban), hydroponic gardening including rooftop gardening (urban) and as fertilization in greenhouses (cold climate urban areas).

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