Sunday, 20 January 2008

Urban EcoSan: what are the costs?

The EcoSanRes programme at the Stockholm Environment Institute says in its Background and vision that its “overall goal is to create a global confidence in ecological sanitation as a trustworthy, affordable and sustainable alternative for design of sanitation systems”. To me the key word here is “affordable”. The EcoSanRes programme is the main European partner in a really ambitious urban EcoSan project in Dongsheng in northern China − details here and video here. However, no indication of costs! Yet someone in Sweden or China must know what the costs are, so why haven’t they been published? We’re promised (here) that, “once in full operation in late 2007 … the performance of the ecosan system will be evaluated and economic and environmental analyses for comparisons with conventional practices will be made”. There’s been a lot of interest in this project, so let’s hope the costs will be made available in IYS2008, and also that any cost comparison includes simplified sewerage!