Accelerating affordable and sustainable citywide sanitation
The International Water Association and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) sign Memorandum of Understanding for enhanced collaboration in India and globally, in the domain of Non-Sewered Sanitation and other areas relevant to the global South.
April 5, 2019, Neemli (Alwar), Rajasthan – Sustainable management of water and wastewater is one of the essential prerequisites for development in modern times. The International Water Association (IWA) and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which have been at the forefront in policy and practice of sustainable water-wastewater management, are now coming together to give a stronger push to this issue, as the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the CSE’s SFD week, an international conference on affordable and sustainable citywide sanitation that took place from 2 to 5 of April 2019 at Anil Agrawal Environment Training Institute (AAETI), in Neemli, Rajasthan.
Signing the MoU, Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director, said: “IWA and CSE share a common objective to strengthen the water and sanitation sector’s professional capacity for achieving global sustainable development. The MoU facilitates greater collaboration and co-operation between the two organisations. The areas of collaboration include research, knowledge production, communication and dissemination, training and capacity building.”
With growing urbanisation, cities are increasingly dependent on ground water or distant cleaner upstream sources, even as they discharge their waste downstream. The conventional method of wastewater management is capital and resource intensive, hence unaffordable to many cities. This has resulted in higher dependence on on-site sanitation systems across India and the global south.
This international conference, organised by the New Delhi-based research and advocacy body Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), with the International Water Association (IWA), SuSanA and the National Fecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance as partners, was geared to promote the exchange of knowledge, policies and practices of affordable and sustainable citywide sanitation – with CSE’s work on Shit Flow Diagrams (SFD), which are visual representations of how a city disposes off its excreta, at the centre stage.
Opening the three-day conference on 2 April, Sunita Narain, Director General of CSE, had said: “A country like India cannot allow a single drop of its precious and limited water to be degraded. But that is exactly what is happening – our rivers and lakes, and our groundwater, are getting increasingly polluted. What we are attempting here in the SFD Week is to join the dots — see the linkages between our water, our rivers, our sewage, and our wastewater. Our challenge of having a ‘Clean India’ will not be met just by building toilets, but by building entire sanitation systems that are sustainable and affordable for all. Only then will we be able to protect our water.”
The sessions in the SFD Week covered issues ranging from water security and climate change, and tools and approaches for ensuring citywide inclusive sanitation, to best practices, solutions and technologies. Among the key speakers were D S Mishra, Secretary, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga; and Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, IWA. A number of experiences from across the world were shared by the speakers over the three days of the conference.
For more details about the Memorandum of Understanding and IWA’s activities in India, please contact Jeyannathann Karunanithi, IWA India Regional Operation Manager, Jeyannathann.Karunanithi@iwahq.org
About the International Water Association
The International Water Association is the largest international network of water professionals working towards a water-wise world. With members in more than 130 countries and over 70 years heritage, the association focuses on developing solutions for water and wastewater management.
As a knowledge hub for the latest science, technology and best practice in the water sector at large, the IWA works to place water on the global political agenda and to influence best practice in regulation and policy making.
The IWA is a global water association that brings together water professionals to close the gap between sciences and practice to provide solutions to the water challenges the world is facing.
About the Centre for Science and Environment
Centre for Science and Environment is a leading independent research and advocacy organization based in New Delhi, India, working in the areas of pollution mitigation and public health, low carbon development and natural resources management across the Global South.
About the SFD Week
Organised by New Delhi-based research and advocacy body Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), with the International Water Association (IWA), SuSanA and the National Fecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance as partners, the SFD Week is the first knowledge conclave to learn from experiences and help cities move beyond merely constructing toilets to becoming ODF, thus ensuring city-wide sanitation.