Minutes of the Meeting of the IWA SG on "Ecological Sanitation" 13 September 2006, Beijing, PR China

F. Tettenborn, G. Langergraber


  1. Nomination and election of a new SG co-chair
  2. Next SG meeting -> Aachen, Germany
  3. SG Newsletter (gtz-Newsletter)
  4. "Ecological sanitation" in Wikipedia
  5. Conferences
  6. New EU funded projects NETTSAF and ROSA
  7. Any other business

List of participants:

GŁnter LangergraberAustriaguenter.langergraber@boku.ac.at
Felix TettenbornGermanytettenborn@tuhh.de
Martin Z. WildererChinamzw@huber.de
Joachim ClemensGermanya.clemens@uni-bonn.de
Elisabeth v. MünchNetherlands/Germanye.vonmunch@unesco-ihe.org
Doulaye KonťSwitzerlanddoulaye.kone@eawag.ch

TOP 0, 1 & 2

The meeting was opened by Felix Tettenborn in the name of the chair Ralf Otterpohl. After a brief introduction and a brief overview of the idea and objective of this group, the nomination of GŁnter Langergraber as co-chair was presented. GŁnter Langergraber already represented the Specialist Group at the general meeting for Specialist Group Leaders during the Beijing conference on Monday September 11th and has been active in the field of Ecological Sanitation already for quite a while and organized amongst others an EcoSan workshop at the Small06 conference in Mexico. His position as a co-chair in this group was discussed and proposed prior to the meeting by the chair Ralf Otterpohl and the co-chair Håkan Jönsson. The group will surely benefit from his contribution. More decisions regarding membership and positions in this Specialist Group shall be discussed in the next IWA EcoSan Specialist Group meeting held in Aachen, Germany, in March 2007. More details about this coming meeting are not clear at the moment, but will be published as soon as possible.


As already announced by Ralf Otterpohl and Håkan Jönsson, information for the members of the IWA specialist group 'Ecological Sanitation' will be included in the Ecosan-newsletter of the GTZ (Ecosan-unit of the German Development Cooperation), in future. In this newsletter will be a section for the IWA group and all group members are welcome to contribute. By including the information of the IWA specialist group in the Ecosan-newsletter of the GTZ the activities of the group can be spread to a large community, since around 10.000 addresses will receive this news-letter. At the same time it is avoided to bring up to many competing newsletters. The information is bundled to one. Furthermore the discussion forum of EcoSanRes was mentioned for exchanging news and sharing information. Every member of the IWA Ecosan specialist group is encouraged to participate in this forum.


Elisabeth von Münch brought up the topic, that so far there is little to no information at the web-encyclopedia Wikipedia. Since this tool meanwhile is used by many people to look up unknown topics, it was agreed that information on Ecological Sanitation should be included as well as links to the IWA specialist group on 'Ecological Sanitation' as well as to other major EcoSan-sites. Elisabeth von Münch will find out about how to publish in this web-space and will provide first information, which thereafter can be discussed in the next meetings.


While discussing the content of the last newsletter, TOP 5 -regarding coming up conferences- was brought up. The most interesting ones are the following ones:


All three chairs of the IWA specialist group on 'Ecological Sanitation' and many of the active group members are involved in the major EU-funded projects NETTSAF (http://www.netssaf.org) and ROSA (http://rosa.boku.ac.at). IWA headquarter is also directly involved in the NETTSAF-project, in which large scale implementation of sustainable sanitation in West Africa is aimed. Well prepared suggestions for implementation of sustainable sanitation should have good chances to get funded.


Under the topic 'Any other business' one question that concerned the participants was how the topic of EcoSan could be promoted better on conferences and in general. It was noted that many other groups and activities yield in a direction that a couple years ago was mainly topic of EcoSan activists. Sustainable sanitation as well in low income countries as well as in high income countries is meanwhile one of the main overall goals. The idea of EcoSan of 'regaining' resources from wastewater is an issue that is widely accepted. However, while it is noticed in a good way, that also from other sides this topic is now more and more dealt with, there is some anxiety that the activities of EcoSan might come short. Again, the discussion of the name 'EcoSan' was brought up. The name seems on one side to repel some people from a more conservative side, since it is often connected to very basic and low-tech solutions only and not acknowledged as a severe discipline. The name is on the other side meanwhile well known in the community, and to everyone dealing with the topic of sustainable sanitation. There was no final conclusion on this topic.

Next the question appeared, how many people actually are interests of the IWA specialist group 'Ecological Sanitation' (how many people have checked that box on the IWA membership application form). This might also be a positive driver for members or activists, to know that from so many IWA-members a specific percentage is interested in this topic. Additionally it will be very important, that all of these people, interested in the activities of the SG 'Ecological Sanitation' do receive the information included in the GTZ-newsletter.

All participants of the specialist group meeting showed a large interest and motivation in further spreading and realizing the idea of 'Ecological Sanitation' and are looking forward to the next activities. With this the meeting was officially closed.