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Tools for improved water quality, sanitation and safe use of human excreta in agriculture, Cochabamba, Bolivia
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Today 1 billion people in the world lack safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation (WSP, 2006). This causes large health- and contamination problems, especially in urban areas. Due to UN Habitat (2003) the world’s urban population will increase from 3 to 5 billions within 20 years. Many developing countries do not have an adequate municipal drinking-water service and it is common that the water is provided by small water communities. The work is often carried out by non-professionals and control of the drinking-water quality is uncommon. To simplify the work with drinking water control WHO has developed guidelines for water monitoring adapted to small water communities. Since the early 1990’s the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) has been working with the concept of ecological sanitation (eco-san) to advance in the development of safe, robust and economical sanitary solutions. The challenge is to create systems that consume little or no water, minimize the contamination risk and allows recycling of nutrients to agriculture. In Bolivia, South America’s second poorest country, diseases caused by lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation are common. The health situation has improved the last 30 years as more people have gained access to improved drinking water (85%) and sanitation (46%). The Bolivian company Agua Tuya has been working with drinking water systems in peri-urban areas of Cochabamba, Bolivia, for 15 years. During the last years the demand for sanitation has increased and to meet that demand cooperation with the research organization EcoSanRes has been established. In a pilot project 20 urine-diverting toilets will be built in Challacaba, Cochabamba. Agua Tuya also plans to open a Resource Center that among other things will offer a monitoring program for small-scale water distribution. This Master’s thesis at Luleå University of Technology will contribute with tools to improved drinking water monitoring and sanitation in peri-urban areas. It includes a two months field study in Cochabamba during autumn 2006 as well as a literature study performed in Luleå. The Master’s thesis resulted in a monitoring program for water quality, adapted to small water communities based on sanitary surveys and preventing acts. Analyses of water samples are subordinated as parameters measuring changes in the water quality such as pH, smell and taste are prioritized. In Challacaba 19 urine- diverting toilets were built. Recommendations for use, cleaning and emptying of the toilets, storage times and treatment for faeces as well as spreading of excreta were established in line with WHO’s guidelines. The Bolivian law does not show any obvious obstacles against the use of human excreta in agriculture as long as the recommendations are followed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Life Earth Science, eco-san, urine diverting, water quality monitoring, drinking, water, human excreta, agriculture, sanitary surveys, small, water communities, Bolivia, Cochabamba, sanitation, dehydration, småskalig VA-teknik, dricksvatten, dricksvattenkvalité, övervakning, urinseparering, hygienisering, developing countries, U-land, utvecklingsländer, bistånd, SIDA, EcoSanRes
Keyword [sv]
Bio- och geovetenskaper
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-46954ISRN: LTU-EX--07/108--SELocal ID: 48e64083-91bf-4c7b-940d-b374036931b5OAI: diva2:1020270
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Arenaprogrammes (2002-2014)
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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