Tricia’s snippets 2012-10-25

After a delay this is quite a long list but contains many interesting articles.

Just in case you have missed this one:

Emergency water supply: A review of potential technologies and selection criteria,
Siew-Leng Loo, Anthony G. Fane, ,William B. Krantz,Teik-Thye Lim
Water Research Volume 46, Issue 10, 15 June 2012, Pages 3125–3151

(see also comment below)

A selection from email alerts:

JOURNAL OF WATER SUPPLY: research and technology (AQUA)
VOL 61; NUMB 5 (2012)
ISSN 1606-9935
• pp.261-271
Demographics practices and water quality from domestic potable rainwater harvesting systems
Stump, B.; McBroom, M.; Darville, R.
• pp.283-290
Sensitivity analysis of field test kits for rapid assessment of bacteriological quality of water
Kumar, D.; Tyagi, N.; Gupta, A.B.

VOL 14; NUMB 5 (2012)
ISSN 1366-7017
• pp.746-757
Inter-agency cooperation in river management as a precondition for realizing water ethics principles in Malaysia: the case of the Gombak River
Moorthy, R.; Jeyabalan, G.
• pp.821-840
An assessment of water governance trends: the case of Bangladesh
Gain, A.K.; Schwab, M.
• pp.854-864
Tariffs and efficient performance by water suppliers: an empirical approach
Hernandez-Sancho, F.; Molinos-Senante, M.; Sala-Garrido, R.; Del Saz-Salazar, S.
• pp.865-886
A planning framework for sustainable urban drainage systems
Fryd, O.; Dam, T.; Jensen, M.B.
VOL 10; NUMB 3 (2012)
ISSN 1477-8920
• pp.349-357
Holy springs and holy water: underestimated sources of illness?
Kirschner, A.K.T.; Atteneder, M.; Schmidhuber, A.; Knetsch, S.; Farnleitner, A.H.; Sommer, R.
• pp.380-389
Municipal wastewater treatment plants as pathogen removal systems and as a contamination source of noroviruses and Enterococcus faecalis
Cheng, H.-W.A.; Lucy, F.E.; Broaders, M.A.; Mastitsky, S.E.; Chen, C.-H.; Murray, A.
• pp.400-405
Survival of human pathogenic bacteria in different types of natural mineral water
Serrano, C.; Romero, M.; Alou, L.; Sevillano, D.; Corvillo, I.; Armijo, F.; Maraver, F.

VOL 46; NUMB 18 (2012)
ISSN 0043-1354
• pp.5917-5934
Escherichia coli contamination and health aspects of soil and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) subsurface drip irrigated with on-site treated domestic wastewater
Forslund, A.; Ensink, J. H.; Markussen, B.; Battilani, A.; Psarras, G.; Gola, S.; Sandei, L.; Fletch
Faecal contamination of soil and tomatoes irrigated by sprinkler as well as surface and subsurface drip irrigation with treated domestic wastewater were compared in 2007 and 2008 at experimental sites in Crete and Italy. Wastewater was treated by Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology, gravel filtration or UV-treatment before used for irrigation. Irrigation water, soil and tomato samples were collected during two cropping seasons and enumerated for the faecal indicator bacterium Escherichia coli and helminth eggs. The study found elevated levels of E. coli in irrigation water (mean: Italy 1753 cell forming unit (cfu) per 100 ml and Crete 488 cfu per 100 ml) and low concentrations of E. coli in soil (mean: Italy 95 cfu g-1 and Crete 33 cfu g-1). Only two out of 84 tomato samples in Crete contained E. coli (mean: 2700 cfu g-1) while tomatoes from Italy were free of E. coli. No helminth eggs were found in the irrigation water or on the tomatoes from Crete. Two tomato samples out of 36 from Italy were contaminated by helminth eggs (mean: 0.18 eggs g-1) and had been irrigated with treated wastewater and tap water, respectively. Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis DNA fingerprints of E. coli collected during 2008 showed no identical pattern between water and soil isolates which indicates contribution from other environmental sources with E. coli, e.g. wildlife. A quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model with Monte Carlo simulations adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) found the use of tap water and treated wastewater to be associated with risks that exceed permissible limits as proposed by the WHO (1.0 x 10-3 disease risk per person per year) for the accidental ingestion of irrigated soil by farmers (Crete: 0.67 pppy and Italy: 1.0 pppy). The QMRA found that the consumption of tomatoes in Italy was deemed to be safe while permissible limits were exceeded in Crete (1.0 pppy). Overall the quality of tomatoes was safe for human consumption since the disease risk found on Crete was based on only two contaminated tomato samples. It is a fundamental limitation of the WHO QMRA model that it is not based on actual pathogen numbers, but rather on numbers of E. coli converted to estimated pathogen numbers, since it is widely accepted that there is poor correlation between E. coli and viral and parasite pathogens. Our findings also stress the importance of the external environment, typically wildlife, as sources of faecal contamination.
• pp.6040-6050
Solar disinfection of wastewater to reduce contamination of lettuce crops by Escherichia coli in reclaimed water irrigation
Bichai, F.; Polo-Lopez, M. I.; Fernandez Ibanez, P.
Low-cost disinfection methods to allow safe use of recycled wastewater for irrigation can have important beneficial implications in the developing world. This study aims to assess the efficiency of solar disinfection to reduce microbial contamination of lettuce crops when solar-treated wastewater effluents are used for irrigation. The irrigation study was designed as a complete experimental loop, including (i) the production of irrigation water through solar disinfection of real municipal wastewater treatment plant effluents (WWTPE), (ii) the watering of cultivated lettuce crops at the end of solar treatment, and (iii) the detection of microbial contamination on the irrigated crops 24 h after irrigation. Solar disinfection was performed using two types of reactors: (i) 20-L batch borosilicate glass reactors equipped with CPC to optimize solar irradiation, and (ii) 1.5-L PET bottles, i.e. the traditional SODIS recipients commonly used for disinfection of drinking water in developing communities. Both solar and H2O2-aided solar disinfection processes were tested during Escherichia coli inactivation was analysed. A presence/absence detection method was developed to analyse lettuce leaves sampled 24 h after watering for the detection of E. coli. Results of inactivation assays show that solar disinfection processes can bring down bacterial concentrations of >103-104 E. coli CFU mL-1 in real WWTPE to <2 CFU/mL (detection limit). The absence of E. coli on most lettuce samples after irrigation with solar-disinfected effluents (26 negative samples/28) confirmed an improved safety of irrigation practices due to solar treatment, while crops irrigated with raw WWTPE showed contamination.
• pp.6095-6103
A series of experiments aimed at clarifying the mode of action of barley straw in cyanobacterial growth control
Iredale, R. S.; McDonald, A. T.; Adams, D. G.
For over 25 years it has been known that rotting barley straw can be used to prevent the development of blooms of cyanobacteria and algae in freshwater bodies, although its effectiveness can be variable. The mode of action is still not understood, although a number of hypotheses have been suggested, many of which are supported by little or no experimental evidence. Here, we provide the first experimental confirmation that microbial activity is responsible for the release of either the growth inhibitory fraction, or its precursor, from whole straw, after three or more weeks of decomposition. However, a much more rapid release of inhibitory components was achieved by fine chopping of fresh straw. In bioassays of straw activity the choice of both the cyanobacterial test strain and the assay temperature affected the outcome. The inhibitory activity of straw was greater when decomposition was carried out in the presence of UV-supplemented visible light and this activity was reduced in the presence of catalase, implying that straw activity may in part involve hydrogen peroxide. A better understanding of straw decomposition is required to clarify the mode of action of straw and allow the optimisation of its use in the field
• pp.6175-6176
Comment on “Emergency water supply: A review of potential technologies and selection criteria.”
Dorea, C. C.
In a recent review by Loo et al. (2012) an examination of potential technologies for emergency water supply was presented alongside selection criteria for such technologies to be used by humanitarian relief agencies. Some fundamental concerns were raised with regards to their work and is presented here.

Improving sanitation in Ghana
Yirenya-Tawiah, D.; Lawson, E.T.

Practical innovations for strengthening Community-Led Total Sanitation: selected experience from Asia
da Silva Wells, C.; Sijbesma, C.
Title: Application of the Water Needs Index: Can Tho City, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
by Moglia, Magnus; Neumann, Luis E; Alexander, Kim S; Nguyen, Minh N; Sharma, Ashok K; Cook, Stephen; Trung, Nguyen H; Tuan, Dinh DA
Journal of Hydrology (Amsterdam) [J. Hydrol. (Amst.)]. Vol. 468-469, pp. 203-212. 25 Oct 2012.
Provision of urban water supplies to rapidly growing cities of South East Asia is difficult because of increasing demand for limited water supplies, periodic droughts, and depletion and contamination of surface and groundwater. In such adverse environments, effective policy and planning processes are required to secure adequate water supplies. Developing a Water Needs Index reveals key elements of the complex urban water supply by means of a participatory approach for rapid and interdisciplinary assessment. The index uses deliberative interactions with stakeholders to create opportunities for mutual understanding, confirmation of constructs and capacity building of all involved. In Can Tho City, located at the heart of the Mekong delta in Vietnam, a Water Needs Index has been developed with local stakeholders. The functional attributes of the Water Needs Index at this urban scale have been critically appraised. Systemic water issues, supply problems, health issues and inadequate, poorly functioning infrastructure requiring attention from local authorities have been identified. Entrenched social and economic inequities in access to water and sanitation, as well as polluting environmental management practices has caused widespread problems for urban populations. The framework provides a common language based on systems thinking, increased cross-sectoral communication, as well as increased recognition of problem issues; this ought to lead to improved urban water management. Importantly, the case study shows that the approach can help to overcome biases of local planners based on their limited experience (information black spots), to allow them to address problems experienced in all areas of the city.

Title: Climate change and development impacts on the sustainability of spring-fed water supply systems in the Alto Beni region of Bolivia
by Fry, Lauren M; Watkins, David W; Reents, Nathan; Rowe, Mark D; Mihelcic, James R
Journal of Hydrology (Amsterdam) [J. Hydrol. (Amst.)]. Vol. 468-469, pp. 120-129. 25 Oct 2012.
In the Alto Beni region of Bolivia, as in other locations of the developing world, gravity-fed water supply systems provide a significant portion of domestic water needs. However, sustainability of these sources depends on whether discharge can be sustained to accommodate future water needs. There is a perception that agricultural expansion in the region is resulting in reduced spring discharge. To investigate this claim, we incorporate low-cost field methods for hydrologic data collection and evaluate two satellite-derived precipitation data products (CMORPH and TRMM-3B42) for input to a hydrological model used to predict recharge rates in eleven watersheds under scenarios of climate change and agricultural expansion. The stressors on the local water supply examined in this study are changes in land use and climate, along with increases in population and consumption, and improvements in water and sanitation coverage. Although predicted changes in runoff range from -69% to +137%, depending on the climate and land use scenario, recharge is predicted to decrease under all scenarios (by 28% to nearly 100%) between the periods of 1970-1999 and 2070-2099. The predicted impacts from climate change are considerably larger than those from agricultural expansion, calling into question local perceptions that spring flow has declined because of changes in land use from agricultural growth. The ratio of water use to availability under most scenarios of climate change and water and sanitation service expansion suggests that use of groundwater is sustainable in the region when considering the entire recharge to the watersheds. However, the small recharge areas of the springs may result in insufficient recharge to support planned water and sanitation expansion unless new water supplies are developed.

Title: System leakage by night flow analysis: a case study in Guyana
by Peters, Everson J; Ben-Ephraim, Yedidyah
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Water Management. Vol. 165, no. 8, 451 p. Sep 2012.
In the Caribbean, water utility companies widely acknowledge the high levels of non-revenue water (NRW). In 2004, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) implemented a project as part of the company’s strategy to reduce water leakage. This paper reports on the use of bottom-up real loss assessment to estimate customer night consumption and background leakage for the test No. 56 district metered area (DMA) based on minimum night flow (MNF) analyses. The results from the test site show that leakage may be more than 50% of the supply. However, there is evidence that interrupted supply may affect estimates of MNF. Therefore, the results should be used with caution as water collection and storage during the nights can lead to overestimation of recoverable losses. To improve the results of similar studies in Guyana, testing should be carried out during the rainy season when there is increased availability of supply and the DMAs should be smaller with a greater number of individual consumption monitors.

Title: Analyzing sanitation characteristics in the urban slums of East Africa
by Szantoa, Gabor L; Letemaa, S C; Tukahirwaa, J T; Mganac, S; Oosterveera, P J M; van Buurenb, J C L
Water Policy [Water Policy]. Vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 613-624. 2012.
Urban slums in East Africa exhibit deplorable sanitary conditions. Despite (inter)national efforts, slum sanitation provision remains inadequate and the projected population growth forecasts a worsening of this crisis. The core of the problem is that available knowledge about the local feasibility of the currently applied sanitary methods is limited. This paper analyses the interface of sanitation policy and technology domains by reviewing the distribution and local characteristics of current centralized and decentralized sanitation options. The findings confirm that conventional, centralized sanitation is an unrealistic solution for application in slums. Simplified sewerage may prove appropriate, but the reported initiatives are in the planning phase only. At present, only decentralized sanitation options are found to be viable in the assessed slums, but their servicing is increasingly neglected by the municipal authorities. The quasi-monopoly of pit latrines implies that improved sanitation technologies are not sufficiently rooted yet. Public toilets are crucial to these slums, especially where land tenure issues prevail. Although the potential of ecological sanitation is currently negligible, novel biocenter initiatives are promising. Municipal authorities are advised to prioritize the implementation of elsewhere successful slum sanitation technologies and to integrate appropriate decentral solutions into their predominantly centralized sanitation schemes.

Title: The effects of water shortages on health and human development
by Tarrass, Faissal; Benjelloun, Meryem
Perspectives in Public Health. Vol. 132, no. 5, pp. 240-244. Sep 2012.
Shortages of water could become a major obstacle to public health and development. Currently, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 1.1 billion people lack access to a water supply and 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation. The global health burden associated with these conditions is staggering, with an estimated 1.6 million deaths every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. In this paper we review the impact of water shortages on health and human development.

**Title: Water and sanitation for all in low-income countries
by Jones MEd, Hazel; Fisher, Julie; Reed MSc, CIWEM Robert
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Municipal Engineer [Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng. Munic. Eng.]. Vol. 165, no. 3, 167 p. Sep 2012.
In Europe, legislation exists to ensure that infrastructure facilities and services are accessible to all. This may not work perfectly, but there is no longer a need to debate the principle of access for all. In low-income countries it is a different story. Improving accessibility to water and sanitation is technically straightforward and low cost. Greater challenges are posed by institutional and social barriers. However, evidence shows that increased advocacy and information, together with training of engineers about inclusive design, can reduce prejudice and increase understanding of different needs and solutions. Drawing on examples from Africa and Asia, this paper describes water and sanitation in low-income countries, explaining the barriers that prevent access for vulnerable users and gives an overview of inclusive design for latrines and water points.

Title: Are We Aware of Microbial Hotspots in Our Household?
by Donofrio, Robert S; Bechanko, Robin; Hitt, Nathan; O’Malley, Kathy; Charnauski, Tamara; Bestervelt, Lorelle L; Saha, Ratul; Saha, Nabaneeta
Journal of Environmental Health [J. Environ. Health]. Vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 12-19. Sep 2012.
Household microorganisms are found in unexpected places. Therefore, the authors conducted a study to investigate the microbial hotspots and reveal the misconceptions regarding the most contaminated objects in the household. In the authors’ study, 26 daily use objects in 22 households were sampled to determine the levels of heterotrophic plate count (HPC), coliforms, E. coli, yeast and mold, and Staphylococcus aureus. High microbial concentration was found in the kitchen area and the dish sponge was the most contaminated item in the household, followed by the toothbrush holder. Coliforms were most prevalent in the kitchen on items such as sponges, sinks, and cutting boards. Yeast and molds were found on leather, fabric, porcelain, and laminate, and S. aureus was found on personal objects and pet’s items. Overall, HPC and the presence of coliforms were significantly related to surface type (p .05). In the kitchen, cleaning frequency (p .03) and type of cleaning (p .0003) had significant effects on HPC. The authors’ study provides information that will help the general population to make an educated decision in developing a proper and routine cleaning regime in their homes. This baseline data might contribute to designing appropriate sanitation guidelines or standards that will help to implement proper sanitation practices in households and to conducting further research in the area of foodborne and household communicable diseases. [PUBLICATIONABSTRACT]

Title: Hazards faced by informal recyclers in the squatter communities of Asuncion, Paraguay
by Cunningham, Rad N; Simpson, Christopher D; Keifer, Matthew C
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health [Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health]. Vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 181-7. Sep 2012.
Informal recycling is widespread in developing countries and involves the collection, sorting, and selling of recyclable materials. Workers are exposed to hazards including the risk of cuts and musculoskeletal injury, infection, exposure to medical waste, and respiratory conditions like bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis and often use insufficient personal protective equipment. Assess the occupational and environmental health hazards faced by informal recyclers working at a landfill in Asuncion, Paraguay. We surveyed 102 informal recyclers and 12 formal recyclers about occupational health, workplace safety, general health, and household economics. Personal air samples were used to assess respirable dust and nobel metal exposure on 18 workers. Exposures to hazards such as syringes, medical waste, and broken glass as well as risk factors such as eating food found in the trash, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and inadequate sanitation were frequent among informal recyclers. Minors under 18 years of age constituted 13% of the workforce and experienced equal or greater exposure to these hazards. Formal recyclers had better access to water, sanitation, PPE, and experienced fewer cuts, injuries, and illnesses than formal recyclers. Informal recyclers were exposed to respirable dust that were considerably higher than they would have been exposed to at home or doing other work in their neighborhood. Better regulation of sharps and medical waste and the provision of adequate sanitation and personal protective equipment would address the most pressing occupational health issues in this high risk group.

Title: Regional disparities in the burden of disease attributable to unsafe water and poor sanitation in China
by Carlton, Elizabeth J; Liang, Song; McDowell, Julia Z; Li, Huazhong; Luo, Wei; Remais, Justin V
Bulletin of The World Health Organization [Bull. W.H.O.]. Vol. 90, no. 8, pp. 578-587. Aug 2012.
The objective of this paper is to estimate the disease burden attributable to unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene in China, to identify high-burden groups and to inform improvement measures. The disease burden attributable to unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene in China was estimated for diseases resulting from exposure to biologically contaminated soil and water (diarrhoeal disease, helminthiases and schistosomiasis) and vector transmission resulting from inadequate management of water resources (malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis). The data were obtained from China’s national infectious disease reporting system, national helminthiasis surveys and national water and sanitation surveys. The fraction of each health condition attributable to unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene in China was estimated from data in the Chinese and international literature. In 2008, 327 million people in China lacked access to piped drinking water and 535 million lacked access to improved sanitation.

Title: Impact of a School-Based Hygiene Promotion and Sanitation Intervention on Pupil Hand Contamination in Western Kenya: A Cluster Randomized Trial
by Greene, LE; Freeman, MC; Akoko, D; Saboori, S; Moe, C; Rheingans, R
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene [Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.]. Vol. 87, no. 3, pp. 385-393. Sep 2012.
Handwashing with soap effectively reduces exposure to diarrhea-causing pathogens. Interventions to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions in schools within low-income countries have gained increased attention; however, their impact on schoolchildren’s exposure to fecal pathogens has not been established. Our trial examined whether a school-based water, sanitation, and hygiene intervention reduced Escherichia coli contamination on pupils’ hands in western Kenya. A hygiene promotion and water treatment intervention did not reduce risk of E. coli presence (relative risk [RR] = 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.54-1.56); the addition of new latrines to intervention schools significantly increased risk among girls (RR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.29-5.34), with a non-significant increase among boys (RR = 1.36, 95% CI = 0.74-2.49). Efforts to increase usage of school latrines by constructing new facilities may pose a risk to children in the absence of sufficient hygiene behavior change, daily provision of soap and water, and anal cleansing materials.

by Iwara, A I; Njar, G N; Deekor, T N; Ita, A E
Continental Journal of Environmental Sciences. Vol. 6, no. 2, 36 p. 2012.
The assessment of abattoir effluent on the quality status of surface water in Adiabo, one of complementary abattoir sites in Calabar, though at a small scale considering the population of people in the area and the number of animals slaughtered daily has not received much research attention. A study was carried out to examine the effect of abattoir effluent on water quality of Calabar River in Adiabo, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State, Nigeria. Physico-chemical, heavy metal and bacteriological parameters of the river were examined to assess the quality and extent of pollution. Results indicated that TSS (total suspended solid) ranged from 16.0 to 34.0 mg/L; conductivity value was between 35 and 65 mu s/cm. DO (dissolved oxygen) and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) ranged from 2.9 to 3.0mg/L, and 0.7 to 1.0 mg/L respectively. The contents of trace metals, Fe, Cr, Cu, Zn and Mn ranged from 0.00 to 0.41mg/L. Furthermore, result of bacterial analysis revealed that the bacterial count (total coliform) of the river exceeded WHO recommended standard for drinking water. The major sources of pollution were observed to be effluents from abattoir and agricultural as well as household wastes within and around the river’s catchment. To sustain the ecological status of the river, waste management practice of waste re-use through the use of retention ponds is encouraged. The waste collected in the ponds if properly managed, can be used as manure to augment the soil.

Title: Home composting of organic waste – part 1: effect of home composter design
by Adhikari, Bijaya K; Tremier, Anne; Martinez, Jose; Barrington, Suzelle
International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management [Int. J. Environ. Technol. Manage.]. Vol. 15, no. 3-4-5-6, pp. 417-437. 2012.
Worldwide, health and environmental considerations encourage landfill diversion of the organic fraction (OW) of municipal solid wastes, through alternative such as home composting. Of poor sanitation, and trace element and toxic hydrocarbon content (PAH) documentation, this study compared against a laboratory composter (LR), the performance (temperature regime and compost quality) of four 300 to 400 L home composting systems (HC), namely the Plastic (P) and Wood (W) Bins, the Rotary Drum (RD) and the Ground Pile (GP). All were batch loaded with the same food waste (FW) and yard trimmings (YT) mixture for uniform testing. The P and GP performed best in terms of temperature regime, followed by W and LR, while all demonstrated similar dry and organic matter and chemical oxygen demand except for RD with a higher dry matter because of poor aeration. All composts respected regulatory pathogen-parasite counts, trace element and PAH levels.

Title: Is human excreta a waste?
by Maurya, Nityanand Singh
International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management [Int. J. Environ. Technol. Manage.]. Vol. 15, no. 3-4-5-6, pp. 325-332. 2012.
Every day a huge amount of excreta is being produced by human society and it is also considered one of the most unwanted waste-refuse of the society because of its nuisance and diseases causing characteristics. However, it is also utilised as a fertiliser and soil conditioner in several countries such as India and China. Presently most common sanitation concept is centralised treatment of human excreta containing wastewater, in which a small volume of excreta is being mixed with large volume of water, and transport the mixture to the centralised treatment site employing a costly and complicated sewer network. Disadvantage associated with this process are loss of valuable resource in terms of plant nutrient, energy and water. Therefore, a holistic approach is warranted for human excreta management, which could lead to pollution control, resource recovery and water conservation. Eco-sanitation (separate collection of faeces and urine employing urine diverting toilet) is good option at least for rural setting. In urban areas, flush toilet with recycling facilities of grey water for flushing purpose and subsequently separate decentralise anaerobic digestion of resulting black water would be an optimal compromise for sustainable development.

Title: Local strategic planning processes and sustainability transitions in infrastructure sectors
by Truffer, Bernhard; Stormer, Eckhard; Maurer, Max; Ruef, Annefte
Environmental Policy and Governance. Vol. 20, no. 4, 258 p. Jul 2010.
Sustainability transitions have repeatedly been demanded in various economic sectors to confront global environmental problems. The present paper analyses the role of strategic planning processes for improving the prospects of achieving sustainable transitions in infrastructure sectors. Current planning approaches in these sectors tend to perpetuate the established socio-technical configurations by neglecting context uncertainties, by ignoring radical system alternatives and by focusing on narrow value considerations. In order to improve the prospects for sustainable transitions, more reflexive and discursive strategic planning methods are needed. We present the Regional Infrastructure Foresight methodology as a specific procedural proposal and analyse results from its application to a case study in the Swiss sanitation sector. [PUBLICATIONABSTRACT]

Title: Determinants of sustainability in solid waste management – The Gianyar Waste Recovery Project in Indonesia.
by Zurbrügg, Christian; Gfrerer, Margareth; Ashadi, Henki; Brenner, Werner; Küper, David
Waste management (New York, N.Y.), November 2012, 32(11):2126-2133
According to most experts, integrated and sustainable solid waste management should not only be given top priority, but must go beyond technical aspects to include various key elements of sustainability to ensure success of any solid waste project. Aside from project sustainable impacts, the overall enabling environment is the key feature determining performance and success of an integrated and affordable solid waste system. This paper describes a project-specific approach to assess typical success or failure factors. A questionnaire-based assessment method covers issues of: (i) social mobilisation and acceptance (social element), (ii) stakeholder, legal and institutional arrangements comprising roles, responsibilities and management functions (institutional element); (iii) financial and operational requirements, as well as cost recovery mechanisms (economic element). The Gianyar Waste Recovery Project in Bali, Indonesia was analysed using this integrated assessment method. The results clearly identified chief characteristics, key factors to consider when planning country wide replication but also major barriers and obstacles which must be overcome to ensure project sustainability. The Gianyar project consists of a composting unit processing 60tons of municipal waste per day from 500,000 inhabitants, including manual waste segregation and subsequent composting of the biodegradable organic fraction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Title: Helminth transmission in simple pit latrines.
by Baker, Sarah M; Ensink, Jeroen H J
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, November 2012, 106(11):709-710
Simple pit latrines often represent the cheapest form of sanitation for poor communities. However, simple latrines lack a concrete slab and are therefore classified as an unimproved form of sanitation. This study collected soil samples in simple pit latrines and analysed them for the presence of helminth eggs; 71% of all collected samples were positive for eggs. The absence of a roof from the latrine was the only factor associated with lower egg concentrations. The findings support the classification of simple pit latrines as an unimproved form of sanitation. Copyright © 2012 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Title: Review of two decades of cholera diagnostics – how far have we really come?
by Dick, Michal H; Guillerm, Martine; Moussy, Francis; Chaignat, Claire-Lise
PLoS neglected tropical diseases, October 2012, 6(10):e1845
Cholera, an ancient scourge, continues to inflict high rates of mortality today. The rising incidence of epidemics in areas of poor sanitation and crowding highlight the need for better epidemic prevention and early response. Such interventions require the availability of rapid and accurate diagnostic techniques to trigger timely response and mitigate the scale of the outbreak. The current gold standard of bacterial culture is inadequate for rapid diagnosis, highlighting the overarching neglect of field diagnostic needs. This paper was written to support the World Health Organisation’s Global Task Force on Cholera Control mandated Cholera and diarrhoeal disease laboratory Network (CholdiNet) in devising a protocol for the validation of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for Vibrio cholerae. The status of diagnostic tools for Vibrio cholerae is assessed, describing products that have been commercialised over the last two decades and discussing their peer-reviewed evaluation. Review of post-1990 peer-reviewed and grey literature on rapid diagnostic tests for Vibrio cholerae. Since 1990, twenty four diagnostic tests have been developed for the detection of Vibrio cholerae in human faecal samples. Fourteen of these have also been described in the literature, with rapid chromatographic-immuno assays (CIA) featuring strongly. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays maintain the ability to detect the lowest amount of bacteria; however CIAs achieve both low detection thresholds and high sensitivity and specificity, making them possible candidates for use in field conditions. Field and laboratory studies were performed in a wide range of settings demonstrating variability in performance, however only a few of these studies were sufficiently stringent, highlighting five RDTs that showed promise in field conditions; COAT, IP cholera dipstick, SMART, IP dipstick and Medicos. In light of non-independent reporting, the authors would like to see these five products undergoing additional studies, with further technical improvements if needed and commercial production. The authors hope that public health use of such a RDT in limited-resource field conditions on stool samples may contribute to effective reduction in cholera epidemic spread.

Title: Water and sanitation in schools: a systematic review of the health and educational outcomes.
by Jasper, Christian; Le, Thanh-Tam; Bartram, Jamie
International journal of environmental research and public health, August 2012, 9(8):2772-2787
A systematic review of the literature on the effects of water and sanitation in schools was performed. The goal was to characterize the impacts of water and sanitation inadequacies in the academic environment. Published peer reviewed literature was screened and articles that documented the provision of water and sanitation at schools were considered. Forty-one peer-reviewed papers met the criteria of exploring the effects of the availability of water and/or sanitation facilities in educational establishments. Chosen studies were divided into six fields based on their specific foci: water for drinking, water for handwashing, water for drinking and handwashing, water for sanitation, sanitation for menstruation and combined water and sanitation. The studies provide evidence for an increase in water intake with increased provision of water and increased access to water facilities. Articles also report an increase in absenteeism from schools in developing countries during menses due to inadequate sanitation facilities. Lastly, there is a reported decrease in diarrheal and gastrointestinal diseases with increased access to adequate sanitation facilities in schools. Ensuring ready access to safe drinking water, and hygienic toilets that offer privacy to users has great potential to beneficially impact children’s health. Additional studies that examine the relationship between sanitation provisions in schools are needed to more adequately characterize the impact of water and sanitation on educational achievements.

Title: The challenge of health & environment: Profiling risks & strategic priorities for now & the future.
by Narain, Jai P
The Indian journal of medical research, August 2012, 136(2):185-191
A substantial burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the developing countries is attributable to environmental risk factors. WHO estimates that the environmental factors are responsible for an estimated 24 per cent of the global burden of disease in terms of healthy life years lost and 23 per cent of all deaths; children being the worst sufferers. Given that the environment is linked with most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), without proper attention to the environmental risk factors and their management, it will be difficult to achieve many MDGs by 2015. The impact of environmental degradation on health may continue well into the future and the situation in fact, is likely to get worse. In order to address this challenge, two facts are worth noting. First, that much of the environmental disease burden is attributable to a few critical risk factors which include unsafe water and sanitation, exposure to indoor smoke from cooking fuel, outdoor air pollution, exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, and climate change. Second, that environment and health aspects must become, as a matter of urgency, a national priority, both in terms of policy and resources allocation. To meet the challenge of health and environment now and in the future, the following strategic approaches must be considered which include conducting environmental and health impact assessments; strengthening national environmental health policy and infrastructure; fostering inter-sectoral co-ordination and partnerships; mobilizing public participation; and enhancing the leadership role of health in advocacy, stewardship and capacity building.

Title: Interim evaluation of a large scale sanitation, hygiene and water improvement programme on childhood diarrhea and respiratory disease in rural Bangladesh.
by Huda, Tarique Md Nurul; Unicomb, Leanne; Johnston, Richard B; Halder, Amal K; Yushuf Sharker, Md Abu; Luby, Stephen P
Social science & medicine (1982), August 2012, 75(4):604-611
Started in 2007, the Sanitation Hygiene Education and Water Supply in Bangladesh (SHEWA-B) project aims to improve the hygiene, sanitation and water supply for 20 million people in Bangladesh, and thus reduce disease among this population. This paper assesses the effectiveness of SHEWA-B on changing behaviors and reducing diarrhea and respiratory illness among children < 5 years of age. We assessed behaviors at baseline in 2007 and after 6 months and 18 months by conducting structured observation of handwashing behavior in 500 intervention and 500 control households. In addition we conducted spot checks of water and sanitation facilities in 850 intervention and 850 control households. We also collected monthly data on diarrhea and respiratory illness from 500 intervention and 500 control households from October 2007 to September 2009. Participants washed their hands with soap < 3% of the time around food related events in both intervention and control households at baseline and after 18 months. Washing both hands with soap or ash after cleaning a child’s anus increased from 22% to 36%, and no access to a latrine decreased from 10% to 6.8% from baseline to 18 months. The prevalence of diarrhea and respiratory illness, among children <5 years of age were similar in intervention and control communities throughout the study. This large scale sanitation, hygiene and water improvement programme resulted in improvements in a few of its targeted behaviors, but these modest behavior changes have not yet resulted in a measurable reduction in childhood diarrhea and respiratory illness. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Title: Assessing impact and sustainability of health, water, and sanitation interventions in Bolivia six years post-project.
by Eder, Clara; Schooley, Janine; Fullerton, Judith; Murguia, Jose
Revista panamericana de salud pública = Pan American journal of public health, July 2012, 32(1):43-48
To assess the impact and sustainability of health, water, and sanitation interventions in Bolivia six years post-project. A mixed-method (qualitative-quantitative) study was conducted in 14 rural intervention and control communities in Bolivia in November 2008, six years after the completion of interventions designed to improve knowledge and practices related to maternal and child health and nutrition, community water systems, and household water and sanitation facilities. The degree to which participants had sustained the community and household practices promoted by the interventions was a particular focus. Community site visits were made to evaluate the status (functional condition) and sustainability (state of maintenance and repair) of community and household water and sanitation infrastructure. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to assess knowledge and practices, and perceptions about the value of the interventions to the community. Six years post-project, participants remained committed to sustaining the practices promoted in the interventions. The average rating for the functional condition of community water systems was 42% higher than the average rating in control communities. In addition, more than two-thirds of households continued to practice selected maternal and child health behaviors promoted by the interventions (compared to less than half of the households in the control communities). Communities that received integrated investments (development and health) seemed to sustain the practices promoted in the interventions better than communities that received assistance in only one of the two sectors. Infrastructure for community water systems and household water and sanitation facilities was better built and maintained, and selected maternal and child health behaviors practiced more frequently, in intervention communities versus control communities.

Title: Re-emergence of Cholera in the Americas: Risks, Susceptibility, and Ecology.
by Poirier, Mathieu Jp; Izurieta, Ricardo; Malavade, Sharad S; McDonald, Michael D
Journal of global infectious diseases, July 2012, 4(3):162-171
The re-emergence of cholera in Haiti has established a new reservoir for the seventh cholera pandemic which threatens to spread to other countries in the Americas. Statistics from this new epidemic are compared to the 1991 Peru epidemic, which demonstrated the speed and complexity with which this disease can spread from country to country. Environmental factors implicated in the spread of Vibrio cholerae such as ocean currents and temperatures, as well as biotic factors from zooplankton to waterfowl pose a risk for many countries in the Americas. The movement of people and goods from Hispaniola are mostly destined for North America, but occur to some degree throughout the Americas. These modes of transmission, and the probability of uncontrolled community spread beyond Hispaniola, however, are completely dependent upon risk factors within these countries such as water quality and availability of sanitation. Although North America has excellent coverage of these deterrents to the spread of infectious gastrointestinal diseases, many countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean lack these basic services and infrastructures. In order to curb the immediate spread of cholera in Hispaniola, treatment availability should be expanded to all parts of the island and phase II epidemic management initiatives must be developed.

Title: Shaping cities for health: complexity and the planning of urban environments in the 21st century.
by Rydin, Yvonne; Bleahu, Ana; Davies, Michael; Dávila, Julio D; Friel, Sharon; De Grandis, Giovanni; Groce, Nora; Hallal, Pedro C; Hamilton, Ian; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Lai, Ka-Man; Lim, C J; Martins, Juliana; Osrin, David; Ridley, Ian; Scott, Ian; Taylor, Myfanwy; Wilkinson, Paul; Wilson, James
Lancet, June 2, 2012, 379(9831):2079-2108
Advisory Committees; *Cities; City Planning: methods; City Planning: organization & administration; *City Planning: trends; Environmental Health: methods; Environmental Health: organization & administration; *Environmental Health: trends; Food Supply: standards; Healthy People Programs: methods; Healthy People Programs: organization & administration; Housing: standards; Humans; Sanitation: standards; Temperature; *Urban Health: trends; Urbanization: trends; Waste Management: standards

Title: Dengue: an escalating public health problem in Latin America.
by Tapia-Conyer, Roberto; Betancourt-Cravioto, Miguel; Méndez-Galván, Jorge
Paediatrics and international child health, May 2012, 32 Suppl 1:14-17
Dengue infection is a significant and escalating public health problem in Latin America. Its re-emergence and subsequent rise in the region over the past 50 years has largely been caused by a combination of a lack of political will, the radical growth of urban populations, migration flow and insufficient financial resources. Its increased incidence has been compounded by climate change, poor sanitation and extreme poverty, which lead to more breeding sites of the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. In order to control dengue effectively, an integrated approach incorporating vector management and environmental and social solutions is required. To achieve success, these programmes require commitment and responses at both national and community level. The development of a vaccine is a vital tool in the fight against dengue. For successful introduction, those implementing vaccination need to be educated on the value of such a strategy. Effective political leadership, innovative financial mechanisms and co-operation across all disciplines, sectors and national borders are essential to eradication of the disease.

From Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Newsletter N° 160 / 18 October 2012:

Animal Waste, Water Quality and Human Health
The latest volume in the series Emerging Issues in Water and Infectious Disease is now available: Animal Waste, Water Quality and Human Health  (ISBN 9789241564519 (WHO). It addresses the systematic assessment of the risks of and cost-effective approaches to managing faeces and urine of mammals and birds which frequently contaminate water sources used for recreation, are treated and distributed for human consumption or are used to irrigate crops.  This joint production of the World Health Organization, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Water Association can be downloaded from:

From Information Today Europe Tuesday 9th October 2012:

“Ahead of his sessions at Internet Librarian International, Arthur Weiss explores features and functions not seen on the Google search bar.”
The unknown Google 

A website to be aware of:
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)

From Sanitation Updates:

Getting it right : improving maternal health through water, sanitation & hygiene
Posted: 19 Oct 2012 05:21 AM PDT

SanMark Community of Practice website
Posted: 18 Oct 2012 05:25 AM PDT

WASH by numbers: the latest on cost benchmarks, economic returns and handwashing
Posted: 16 Oct 2012 08:44 AM PDT

Wherever the Need puts sanitation first (video)
External funding for WASH in Schools does not necessarily undermine national & local commitment
Posted: 17 Oct 2012

WASHplus Weekly – Global Handwashing Day 2012 Special Edition
Posted: 12 Oct 2012 08:37 AM PDT

Sanitation surcharges collected through water bills: a way forward for financing pro-poor sanitation?
Posted: 11 Oct 2012 08:10 AM PDT

Diarrhea and dengue control in rural primary schools in Colombia
Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:54 AM PDT

Worms Clean Toxic Metals from Indian Soil
Posted: 08 Oct 2012 01:49 PM PDT

“We don’t talk about it at all !” The taboo of menstruation in rural Maharashtra
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 08:46 AM PDT