The project team of CuveWaters, led by ISOE – the Institute for Social-Ecological Research, has succeeded in turning wastewater into a resource in this most arid region of the world, so that processed wastewater from sanitary facilities can be used for agricultural purposes.
Communal sanitation facility in Outapi/Namibia
The project partners TU Darmstadt (Institute IWAR), Bilfinger Water Technologies and the ISOE are presenting the sanitation concept at the 9th IWA International Water-Reuse Conference in Windhoek/Namibia.
Approximately 850,000 people live in central northern Namibia. About 40 percent of the population in urban areas don’t have access to adequate sanitary facilities. In order to improve the sometimes dramatic situation for the population, the „Namibian Sanitation Strategy“ recommends using efficient flushing toilets in conjunction with innovative wastewater technologies.
As a result, the CuveWaters team has developed a novel sanitation concept plus vacuum system within the framework of an integrated water resources management (IWRM): The sanitary facilities are part of a complex disposal, treatment and re-use system that has been developed together with the local population and with Namibian partners from government and industry.
Energy efficient: Sanitation concept with water re-use in Outapi
The small city of Outapi (Omusati Region) was chosen as the site to implement the sanitation system with water re-use. It is home to 4,600 people, of whom 1,500 have been using the new sanitary facilities in a pilot plant since the beginning of 2013. The official handover of this plant to the municipal administration is now coming up on November 1st. The energy-efficient sanitation and wastewater concept in Outapi works this way: A vacuum system transports the wastewater from settlements in Outapi to a processing plant, where it is purified.
A multi-step purification process produces hygienically impeccable irrigation water. Together with the nutrients, the purified water is then used in the fields. A farmers’ cooperative works this land and sells the crops at local markets. Biogas is also won in the course of the purification process, which is used to generate power and heat. This covers a percentage of the operating energy of the vacuum canalisation and the wastewater treatment plant.
Promoting millennium goals through the transfer of technology and knowledge
The innovative concept isn’t just ideal for small rural settlements, but also opens up completely new perspectives for rapidly growing urban areas in particular. Within this context it is vitally important to involve the local population, as well as training and educating them. “Together with the ‚Community Health Clubs‘ which have arisen locally and which help people with hygiene issues, CuveWaters also makes sure that knowledge transfer takes place, in addition to technology transfer,” says project leader Thomas Kluge (ISOE).
The cultivation of agricultural areas also opens up new sources of income for farmers. “Altogether, this allows us to improve the living conditions of the population over the long term and make a contribution to reaching the millennium goals, which also include safeguarding health.”
CuveWaters will be presenting its project results together with the Outapi city administration at the Water Reuse Conference 2013 in Windhoek. CuveWaters is a joint project of ISOE in Frankfurt am Main/Germany and the Technische Universität Darmstadt/Ger¬many. It is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Namibian cooperation partners include the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Outapi Town Council and the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN).
CuveWaters at the IWA Reuse Conference in Windhoek, October 28th-31th 2013Contact in Namibia:
Dr. Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart | idw
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy