Finding Solutions to Unattractive Problems
As an engineer interested in development, I cannot escape the realities of solving problems rooted in human needs. Yet, one quickly observes that these problems are far from attractive to solve. Treating wastewater does not immediately rise to the surface as a problem inviting innovative solutions. After all, we have grown absolutely comfortable with the idea of flushing our problems down the toilet.
With. potable. water.
Conventional wastewater treatments use drinking water as the sewage solution. Additionally, economic issues lead to extreme water scarcity as clean water is hard to come by owing to developing water sources and distribution infrastructure. People spend full working days gathering water.
I really enjoyed reading Sustainable Wastewater Management in Developing Countries as the authors really took conventional paradigms to task. In particular, they presented strong arguments regarding the benefits and limitations of on-site systems and a fantastic primer on more developed systems that bridge the gap between “septic tank” and “water-flushed sewers.” I appreciated the case studies coming from their own consulting experiences, which highlighted successes and failures. The three opening chapters situate the paradigm the authors advocate. Really solid locally-driven focus on sustainability. Definitely a find for my professional library.