Harnessing Wastewater as a Resource for Development

By Simone Schenkel

A recent UN-Water Analytical Brief argued for a paradigm shift in global water politics, starting with a dedicated water goal that explicitly recognizes wastewater as a viable alternative water source in the post-2015 Development Agenda. Given the expiring Millennium Development Goals, which focused on water quality and sanitation, the brief calls greater attention to the neglected end products of these provisions –wastewater. Here are some notable statistics about wastewater in practice, as well opportunities associated with effective wastewater management for the future of water security and development:

Open sewers like this are common in much of the world, and pose health and environmental risks

Open sewers like this are common in much of the world, and pose health and environmental risks

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Weekly Roundup

This week in development…

U.S. Development Policy/International Organizations

  • As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, access to sanitation and safe drinking water remains the ‘least improved’ A recent UN report found that 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation facilities, while 1.8 billion people use contaminated water sources.
A water kiosk in Chipata, Zambia providing clean and sanitary water.

A water kiosk in Chipata, Zambia providing clean and sanitary water.

  • United Nation’s Population Fund (UNPF) recently released a major report on the State of the World Population. The report focuses on the economic potential of the 1.8 billion ‘youth bulge’, referring to the large global youth population many of whom are unemployed. The report estimates Africa’s growth to boost by a third if the continent invests enough in the younger generation. PPD earlier this year launched the Global Youth Wellbeing Index highlighting policies needed to capitalize on these demographic changes.

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