The New Sanitation Systems of the Future

Sanitation systems are transforming. 21st century sanitation is coming - and it is very exciting.

The transformation lies in the way we value our toilets and the resources they capture. In addition to being good for society, many sectors stand to gain from this transformation, beyond toilets alone, to energy, water, agriculture, and preventative health.

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Sanitation Economy Tenders & Challenges

Closing loops across the Sanitation Economy. New in 2018, the Toilet Board Coalition has expanded its reach to proactively call for catalysing innovations and new business models that fill the gaps needed to leapfrog to next generation sanitation systems.

Business from outside the sanitation sector with specific solutions that can be applied to the Sanitation Economy are invited to bid for Toilet Board Coalition and partner support and resources to fuel the transition.


Smart Sanitation City

A Smart Sanitation City expands the scope of a Smart City to include its sanitation systems. Sanitation can be included in Smart Cities’ architecture through data monitoring of public and community toilet usage, sewage treatment operations, infectious disease circulation and other health indicators.

It is the vision of the Smart Sanitation City that enhanced data collection will enable more efficient decision-making that will lead to cost savings for the city and revenue generating opportunities in partnership with the private sector.

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Sanitation Economy for Agricultural Sectors

Sanitation systems have material impact on agriculture. On the soil, on the water, and on the people who work and live on plantations. The risks of poorly managed sanitation in agricultural businesses are escalating and can no longer be ignored.

Circular sanitation systems have the potential to unlock significant economic social and environmental benefits for agricultural plantations and their local communities.

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Space for Sanitation

The European Space Agency Business Applications Group has partnered with the Toilet Board Coalition to assess the technical feasibility and viability of space-based services in support of sanitation for developing economies, and will establish a roadmap for service implementation through potential follow-on demonstration projects. Through our collaboration the ESA and TBC seek to explore the following sanitation system use cases with the utilisation of space technologies:

Smart Sanitation and Circular Sanitation Economies (see topic of relevance below) require in-situ (sewage/soil/water) sensors communication to data repositories; the remoteness of the targeted rural areas calls for networks based on Satellite Communications (SatCom) or hybrid terrestrial-SatCom solutions.

Toilet, Smart and Circular Sanitation economies all require a great deal of environmental (landscape/land use, environmental risk, and water quality) and socio-economic data (number of households, size/growth of settlements and industrial activities) that can be provided from Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO) imagery.

Satellite Navigation (SatNav) can be used to geo-reference collected in-situ sensors’ data in order to support geospatial processing.

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Circular Sanitation Economy

This report presents the findings of our study in the form of a thought piece on the topic of sanitation in the Circular Economy. Our intent is to present a number of business opportunity spaces, where we believe that value has been left on the table and customer needs unmet, which we recommend are to be explored further in the decade ahead.

When applied to sanitation, the Circular Economy unlocks a rich cycle of biological, and renewable, resources that can be used and reused continuously. This represents a new reservoir of resources, currently being lost and often causing harm to society, which if captured could amount to 3.8 trillion litres of biological material globally each year.

New technologies and business models are emerging which present real promise for profitability at scale, replicability, faster and at lower cost than traditional sanitation systems.

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Smart Sanitation Economy

Potential to future-proof the sector with continuous efficiencies, resilient consumer demand, and important health information.

Current trends in digitisation has the potential to disrupt sanitation systems, enabling new products, business models and creating new markets.

Advances in big data trends, satellite monitoring and digital health technologies combined with the wide spread adaption of mobile and smart phone technologies brings significant potential for system efficiencies, new information and insights.

Sanitation systems uniquely contain a continuous supply of biological resource which could have important and positive impact on preventative health practices.

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Sanitation Economy in India

Supporting sanitation entrepreneurship in one of the fastest growing and most populated economies facing immense sanitation issues, leveraging the government’s commitment to ODF & ODF “+”waste management and representing a test bed for new business models and PPPs.

The Swachh Bharrat Mission initiative of the Government of India together with its new policies for waste management, and a tradition for support of new technologies, provides an ideal platform for the Sanitation Economy. The private sector can bring solutions, in partnership with governments and civil society, which will ensure long term sustainability and resilience.

In 2018 the Toilet Board Coalition has expanded its work programme in India in order to accelerate the Sanitation Economy which has the potential to deliver significant benefits for business and society.

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