Community-based wastewater treatment in Nepal
Community-based wastewater treatment in Nepal. UN-Habitat. Read more>>

Wastewater Treatment
10 Keys for Action
UNEP/WHO/UN-Habitat/WSSCC- poster (pdf)


UNDP Video

Making Every Drop Count - Wastewater Reuse in Jordan, USAID project

Making Every Drop Count (higher res)



Wastewater Management

Inadequate handling of wastewater has serious consequences for human health, the environment and economic development. It contaminates the water supply, increasing the risk of infectious diseases and deteriorating groundwater and other local ecosystems. But the cost of treating wastewater can be very high and governments often have insufficient resources available for mitigating action. Other major factors, such as water supply and available space also impose constraints on the available options for wastewater treatment. Selecting the right sanitation technology is about having effective alternatives and making the right choice for the specific circumstances. For example, it is inappropriate to introduce piped sewage if there is no capacity to adequately treat the effluents. The use of conventional sewerage systems in extremely water-short regions may also be unsustainable.

Additional Resources

Using human waste safely for livelihoods, food production and health (WHO / FAO / IDRC / IWMI) - Information kit on the 3rd edition of the WHO Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater in agriculture and aquaculture. It provides additional information and clarifies specific roles and responsibilities in the safe water reuse. Wastewater is increasingly becoming an important resource and the livelihood basis for poor farmer communities in rural and especially peri-urban areas. It is not only an important water resource in water scarce areas, but also an important input of nutrients into agricultural production systems. Using wastewater in agriculture also reduces the downstream environmental burden caused by untreated discharge and contributes to food security of the urban population. Link>>

  UN Wastewater Management Training (UNEP/UNESCO/ UNDOALOS / UNDP-GEF/ EU ACP Water Facility) The training course and its online self-study tutorial contributes to build decentralised capacity towards achieving targets on water and sanitation. The training focuses on objective-oriented planning, innovative technological and financial approaches and stakeholder involvement. A webtool offers a management tutorial, including case studies and access to free decision-making software, a compendium of technologies and documents library. Available in: Arabic, Chinese, English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and¬†Turkish. Link>>
Guidelines Wastewater Management
Guidelines on Municipal Wastewater Management - provides practical guidance on planning locally appropriate and environmentally sound wastewater management. The report focuses on approaches, policies, and institutional arrangements as well as technological and financing options. UNEP/WHO/UN-Habitat/WSSCC, 2004. [pdf - 4Mb] [pdf - Spanish]
Financing Wastewater Collection and Treatment in Relation to the Millenium Development Goals on Sustainable Development Targets in Water and Sanitation -GPA Report Series No. 7 The paper addresses the global financing challenge of providing adequate wastewater collection, treatement, reuse and reallocation to the natural environment within the framework of the 2015 sanitation target; including providing a overview of realistic options and costing for different levels of sewerage services. UNEP/GPA, 2004. [pdf - 1.23 Mb]
Improving Municipal Wastewater
Improving Municipal Wastewater Management in Coastal Cities: Training Manual Version 1,Training manual on objective-oriented planning, innovative technologies and financial approaches to wastewater management, on stakeholder involvement in the planning process and presentation techniques. UNEP/GPA, UNESCO-IHE, UNDOALOS February 2004. [pdf - 5.6 Mb]
Guidelines for Wastewaster Reuse, WHO
Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater - To protect public health and the use of wastewater and excreta in agriculture and aquaculture. Vol 1: Policy and regulatory aspects, Vol 2: Wastewater use in agriculture, Vol 3: Wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture, Vol 4: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture. WHO, 2006. Link>>
Guidelines for Wastewaster Reuse, WHO
Global Atlas of Excreta, Wastewater Sludge, and Biosolids Management: Moving Forward the Sustainable and Welcome Uses of a Global Resource - It is crystal clear that, in addition to clean air, the well-being of our planet also requires that water, wastewater and the resulting biosolids (sludge) need to be managed more seriously, and in a focused, coordinated and cooperative manner. UN-HABITAT, 2008. [pdf - 5.1 Mb]


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