solution finder

07 May 2019

Surface Irrigation

Author/Compiled by
Beat Stauffer (seecon international gmbh)
Dorothee Spuhler (seecon international gmbh)
Executive Summary

Surface irrigation is mainly divided in basin, border, and furrow systems. It is widely utilised and therefore a well-known system, which can be operated without any high-tech applications. In general, it is more labour intensive than other irrigation methods. Proper design of surface irrigation systems takes into account the soil type (texture and intake rate), slope, levelness of the field, stream size, and length of run. It is generally more difficult to obtain high uniformity of water distribution in long fields on coarse textured soils (gravel and sands) than on fine textured soils (loams to clay) (HILL 2008). Levelling the fields and building the water ditches and reservoirs might be expensive, but once this is done, costs are low and the self-help capacity is very high.

Advantages
Because it is so widely utilised, local irrigators generally have at least minimal understanding of how to operate and maintain the system (WALKER 1989)
Surface irrigation systems can be developed at the farm level with minimal capital investment (WALKER 1989)
The essential structural elements are located at the edges of the fields, which facilitates operation and maintenance activities (WALKER 1989)
If the topography is not too undulating, these costs are not great (WALKER 1989)
Energy requirements for surface irrigation systems come from gravity (WALKER 1989)
Surface irrigation systems are less affected by climatic and water quality characteristics (WALKER 1989)
The gravity flow system is a highly flexible, relatively easily managed method of irrigation (WALKER 1989)
Disadvantages
The soil, which must be used to convey the water over the field, has properties that are highly varied both spatially and temporally (WALKER 1989)
Surface irrigation systems are typically less efficient in applying water than either sprinkler or trickle systems (WALKER 1989)
The need to use the field surface as a conveyance and distribution facility requires that fields be well graded if possible (WALKER 1989)
Surface systems tend to be labour-intensive (WALKER 1989)
In Out

Precipitation, Freshwater, Fertigation Water, Treated Water

Food Products

Factsheet Block Title
Introduction
Factsheet Block Body

Surface irrigation stands for a large group of irrigation methods in which water is distributed by gravity over the surface of the field (note: surface irrigation does not include spate irrigation). The three most common methods are basin irrigation, border irrigation and furrow irrigation. Water is typically introduced at the highest point or along the edge of a field, which allows covering the field by overland flow. Historically, surface irrigation has been the most common method of irrigating agricultural land. The defining feature of surface irrigation methods is that the soil is used as the transport medium (as opposed to pipelines (see subsurface irrigation, drip irrigation or through the air, as with sprinklers).

Surface irrigation methods contain two basic categories: ponding (surface water pooled in a puddle) and moving water. The moving water methods require some runoff or ponding to guarantee adequate infiltration at the lower end of the field. The soil type controls the length of the run and the depth of infiltrated over time. The better the quality of the soil is the less is the unnecessary runoff and the better the infiltration into the soil and therefore the use for the crops (BURT 2000). Due to ponding however, it is important not to irrigate the crops during the day but in the early morning or at night in order to avoid water loss due to evaporation.

Each surface system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages depending on such factors as initial development costs, size and shape of individual fields, soil characteristics, nature and availability of the water supply, climate, cropping pattern, social preferences and structures, and historical experience (WALKER 2003).

Typical elements of a surface irrigation system. Source: WALKER (2003)
Typical elements of a surface irrigation system. Source: WALKER (2003)

 

Factsheet Block Title
Basic Design Principles
Factsheet Block Body

Basin Irrigation

Basin irrigation is the most common form of surface irrigation, particularly in regions with layouts of small fields. If a field is level in all directions, is encompassed by a dyke to prevent runoff, and provides an undirected flow of water onto the field, it is herein called a basin.

If the basins are small or if the discharge rate available is relatively large, there are few soils not amenable to basin irrigation. Generally, basin irrigation is favoured by moderate to slow intake soils and deep-rooted, closely spaced crops. Crops, which do not tolerate flooding and soils subject to crusting can be basin irrigated by furrowing or using raised bed planting. Basin irrigation is an effective method of leaching salts from the soil profile into the deeper groundwater.

Two typical surface basin irrigation fields. Source: WALKER (2003)
Two typical surface basin irrigation fields. Source: WALKER (2003)

 

Basin irrigation systems can be automated with relatively simple and inexpensive flow controls at the basin inlet. However, basin irrigation has a number of limitations in association with agriculture in the less developed countries: Accurate land levelling is prerequisite to high uniformities and efficiencies, but this is difficult to accomplish in small areas;the perimeter dikes must be well maintained to eliminate breaching and waste; and it is difficult and often infeasible to incorporate the use of modem farm machinery in small basins, thereby limiting small-scale basin irrigation to hand and animal powered cultivation (WALKER 2003).

 

Border Irrigation System

In many circumstances, border irrigation can be viewed as an expansion of basin irrigation to include long rectangular or contoured field shapes, longitudinal but no lateral slope, and free draining or blocked conditions at the lower end.

Examples of border irrigation systems. (a) Typical graded border irrigation system. (b) Typical level border irrigation system. (c) Typical contour levee or border irrigation system. Source: WALKER (2003)
Examples of border irrigation systems. (a) Typical graded border irrigation system. (b) Typical level border irrigation system. (c) Typical contour levee or border irrigation system. Source: WALKER (2003)

 

In border irrigation, a field is divided into strips separated by border ridges running down the slope of the field. The width of the stripes is usually from 20 to 100 feet (6 to 30 metres). The area between the ridges is flooded during irrigation. Border irrigation is used for tree crops and for crops as alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and small grains (UCCE 2003).

Tree crops irrigated by a surface border system. Source: UCCE (2005)
Tree crops irrigated by a surface border system. Source: UCCE (2005)

 

Furrow Irrigation

An alternative to flooding the entire field surface is to construct small channels along the primary direction of water movement. Water introduced in these furrows infiltrates through the wetted perimeter and moves vertically and laterally thereafter to refill the soil. Furrows can be used in conjunction with basins and borders to overcome topographical variation and crusting (WALKER 2003). Furrows are well adapted to row crops and orchards or vineyards (BURT 2000).

Left: Measuring of a single furrow shape. Right: A field irrigated by furrows. Source: WALKER (2003) and HILL et al. (2008)
Left: Measuring of a single furrow shape. Right: A field irrigated by furrows. Source: WALKER (2003) and HILL et al. (2008)

 

Furrow systems require more labour than border or basin systems. Some disadvantages are salinity hazards between the furrows, limited machinery mobility across the lateral field direction and an increased erosion potential. On the other hand, topographical conditions can be more severe and variable, and the smaller wetted area can reduce evaporation loss (WALKER 2003).

The three most important hardware items for an efficient furrow irrigation are (BURT 2000):

  • A tailwater return flow system, which incorporates a reservoir
  • Short furrows for an acceptable advanced ratio
  • A large variable water supply stream

 

Factsheet Block Title
The Importance of the Soil Type
Factsheet Block Body

There is one disadvantage of surface irrigation that confronts every designer and irrigator. The soil, which must be used to convey the water over the field, has properties that are highly varied both spatially and temporally. They become almost indefinable except immediately preceding the watering or during it. This creates an engineering problem in which at least two of the primary design variables, discharge and time of application, must be estimated not only at the field layout stage but also judged by the irrigator prior to the initiation of every surface irrigation event. Thus, while it is possible for the new generation of surface irrigation methods to be attractive alternatives to sprinkler and trickle systems, their associated design and management practices are much more difficult to define and implement (WALKER 1989).

Factsheet Block Title
Costs Considerations
Factsheet Block Body

Levelling the fields and building the water ditches and reservoirs might be expensive, but once this is done, costs are low and the self-help capacity is very high. Thus, the expected life of the system, fixed costs, and annual operation costs (energy, water depreciation, land preparation, maintenance, labour, taxes, etc.) should be included in the analysis when selecting an irrigation system (WALKER 2003). The water allocation is done by gravity, therefore no energy is required. On the other hand, a surface irrigation system is labour intensive, which should be considered.

Factsheet Block Title
Operation and Maintenance
Factsheet Block Body

Good operation of any irrigation system includes matching the irrigation duration with the rate of application and the intake rate of the soil to maximise the fraction of water stored in the root zone. Operation of surface irrigation requires being there to “tend” the water, i.e. to move the water to successive application points as it reaches the end of the run. (HILL et al. 2008).

Ditches should be cleaned out at least annually and more often if needed. A shovel can be used to clean smaller ditches. A mechanical ditcher and tractor is very helpful on larger ditches. Often ditch cleaning is an early spring “rite” to be completed prior to the first delivery of water. Many irrigation and canal companies require that shareholders maintain their own head gates and keep them in good operating condition. In areas where rodent damage is a problem, “tromping gopher holes” or otherwise fixing leaks in ditches may be a daily chore. Periodic re-levelling of surface irrigated fields may be needed to compensate for soil settlement or consolidation over time (HILL et al. 2008).

Factsheet Block Title
At a Glance
Factsheet Block Body

Working Principle

There are three main surface irrigation systems: Basin (flooded field), border (the field is divided into stripes) and furrow (small channels along the primary direction of water movement). The water is distributed by gravity over the surface of the field

Capacity/Adequacy

As long as the field can be levelled it can be implemented.

Performance

It is an old approved system and therefore it has a high performance

Costs

If topography is uneven, capital costs are high. Furthermore, it is a labour intensive system, which could raise the costs.

Self-help Compatibility

High

O&M

Ditches should be cleaned out periodically; leaks have to be fixed as fast as possible.

Reliability

If it is well maintained and the ditches are clean it is very reliable.

Main strength

It is widely utilised and users have at least a minimal understanding of how to operate and maintain. Furthermore, the water is distributed by gravity.

Main weakness

The soil, which must be used to convey the water over the field, has properties that are highly varied both spatially and temporally. They become almost indefinable except immediately preceding the watering or during it what makes design kind of difficult

Applicability

This system depends on three factors: type of soil, water quality and climate, plant and labours. If the soil is very permeable, it is difficult to transport the water over the surface and may not the entire field will be irrigated. But surface irrigation is not negatively influenced by winds or sediments and debris as are sprinkler systems.

Moreover, salinity is less of a problem under surface irrigation because of less risk of clogging pipes and salts can be leached from the soil profile. Surface irrigation is not a high-automated system, what makes it more simple, but it requires therefore also more labours.

Media PPT
Library References

Water for Irrigation

Infonet-biovision.org is a web-based information platform offering trainers, extension workers and farmers in East Africa a quick access to up-to-date and locally relevant information in order to optimise their livelihoods in a safe, effective, sustainable and ecologically sound way.

INFONET-BIOVISION (2010): Water for Irrigation. Zürich: Biovision URL [Accessed: 09.04.2019]

SIRMOD III - Surface Irrigation Simulation Evaluation and Design

This is a very detailed document about surface irrigation simulation, evaluation and design. The aim of the manuscript is to improve the water irrigation management, which is an important step to guarantee security and stability in food supplies. You will be able to find the PDF presentation downloading the ZIP archive and opening the Surface Irrigation Design file.

WALKER, W.R. (2003): SIRMOD III - Surface Irrigation Simulation Evaluation and Design. Guide and Technical Documentation. "PDF Presentation". Logan, Utah (USA): Utah State University (USU). URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019]
Further Readings

Irrigation, Food Security and Poverty – Lessons from three large Dams in West Africa

This report summarises the results of four years of research on three existing dam and rice field sites: Sélingué in Mali, Bagré in Burkina Faso and Anambé in Senegal. The aim of these micro and macro-economic studies was to analyse the financial and economic viability of water infrastructure projects and opportunities for improving the living conditions of smallholder farmers after the construction of dams. 

BAZIN, F. et al. (2017): Irrigation, Food Security and Poverty – Lessons from three large Dams in West Africa. Global Water Initiative (GWI) URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019] PDF

Food security and productive sanitation systems

The factsheet describes the food security situation especially in light of limited global resources, the role of sustainable sanitation in closing the nutrient loop and increasing productivity, and challenges in implementing productive sanitation systems.

SUSANA (2009): Food security and productive sanitation systems. (= SuSanA fact sheet 05/2009 ). Eschborn: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019]

Selection of irrigation methods for agriculture. Environmental and Water Research Institute

This report provides an overview of various agricultural irrigation methods. The variations of each general method (surface irrigation, drip/micro irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and sub-irrigation) are described. The capabilities, limitations, institutional considerations, and economic factors of the methods and their variations are explained. These explanations will facilitate the proper selection of irrigation method for respective circumstances, depending upon crop, climate, economics, water quality, support infrastructure, energy availability, and numerous other factors.

BURT, C. M. (2000): Selection of irrigation methods for agriculture. Environmental and Water Research Institute. Virginia: ASCE Publications URL [Accessed: 29.07.2010]

SIRMOD III - Surface Irrigation Simulation Evaluation and Design

This is a very detailed document about surface irrigation simulation, evaluation and design. The aim of the manuscript is to improve the water irrigation management, which is an important step to guarantee security and stability in food supplies. You will be able to find the PDF presentation downloading the ZIP archive and opening the Surface Irrigation Design file.

WALKER, W.R. (2003): SIRMOD III - Surface Irrigation Simulation Evaluation and Design. Guide and Technical Documentation. "PDF Presentation". Logan, Utah (USA): Utah State University (USU). URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019]

Irrigation Practice and Policy in the Lowlands of the Horn of Africa

The drought of 2011 and the famine that followed in politically instable Somalia highlighted the vulnerability of the lowlands of the Horn of Africa. It is a story revisited with high frequency – 2000, 2005, and 2008. Climate variability is easily mentioned as the main attributing factor. Clearly it is – but there is also extensive land use change, because of the widespread invasion of invasive species (prosopis in particular) and the decimation of natural wood stands for charcoal production (particularly in Somalia). 2011 was a crisis year – but even in a normal years food insecurity is common. In the Afar lowlands in Ethiopia food aid has become part of the livelihoods, with most of the people dependent on it – including reportedly middle class families. There is a growing realization that water resource development – appropriate to the context – has to have a place in addressing food insecurity in the Horn of Africa. This paper focuses on irrigation policy and practice in the arid lowlands of the Horn that have been hit hardest and most frequent in the drought episodes

ALEMEHAYU, T. DEMISSIE, A. LANGAN, S. EVERS, J. (2011): Irrigation Practice and Policy in the Lowlands of the Horn of Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) URL [Accessed: 26.03.2012]
Case Studies

Phosphorus Loss with Surface Irrigation

There are two main mechanisms in a surface irrigation system which influence phosphorous (P) transport; erosion and desorption of P into irrigation runoff water. This report describes reduction strategies to keep phosphorous in the soil.

BJORNBERG, D. LEYTEM, A. (n.y): Phosphorus Loss with Surface Irrigation. Kimberley: United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019]

Effect of Basin, Furrow and Raingun Sprinkler Irrigation Systems on Irrigation Efficiencies, Nitrate-Nitrogen Leaching and Yield of Sunflower

A field study was conducted on sunflower by using different irrigation techniques, such as basin, furrow and raingun sprinkler systems at Post-Graduate Agricultural Research Station (PARS), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad during 1998-2002. The comparison of irrigation efficiencies, nitrate leaching and the yield of sunflower was noted.

RANA, M.A. ARSHAD, M. MASUD, J. (2006): Effect of Basin, Furrow and Raingun Sprinkler Irrigation Systems on Irrigation Efficiencies, Nitrate-Nitrogen Leaching and Yield of Sunflower. Islamabad: Pakistan Journal of Water Resources URL [Accessed: 07.05.2019]

Demonstration of Surface Irrigation Evaluation Technology in the Gouldburn Murray Irrigation District

In the present study, field trials were conducted using the IrriMATETM system at a limited number of sites with the objective to demonstrate the application of surface irrigation evaluation to bay irrigated pasture and to indentify the potential gains in irrigation performance. Although the sample of sites was small they provide an indication of the level of performance across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) and the opportunity for substantial water savings through changed practice on-farm.

SMITH, R. GILLIES, M. SHANAHAN, M. CAMPBELL, B. WILLIAMSON, B. (2010): Demonstration of Surface Irrigation Evaluation Technology in the Gouldburn Murray Irrigation District. Part I: Evaluating the Performance of Bay Irrigation. (= Technical Report ). Queensland: Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Irrigation Future. [Accessed: 20.06.2011] PDF

This module introduces the importance of market-based RRR solutions. At the end of this module you have identified key challenges in your local sanitation and waste management system and a RRR-related business idea.

Cover image Module  1

This module sheds light on the importance of studying the business environment and its components like waste supply, market demand, competition and the institutional framework. At the end of this module you have gained insights to evaluating the potential of your business idea.

Cover image Module  2

This module shows how a business idea can be turned into a business model while putting a specific focus on understanding the customer and designing products that meet their needs. At the end of this module you will have developed a business model and positioned your offer in the market.

Cover image Module  3

This module focusses on planning the operations of a RRR related business. During this part RRR technologies will be introduced for different waste streams and tools for planning the production process. At the end of this module you will have blueprinted your production process and the required technology and production inputs.

Cover image Module  4

This module covers key aspects of financial planning and analysis. At the end of this module you will have forecasted your profits, cash flows, required investment and evaluated the financial viability of your business model.

Cover image Module  5

This module enables you to set objectives and plan activities for the launch of your RRR business and identify potential financing sources. At the end of this module you will have developed an action plan for launch and identified appropriate financing sources.

Cover image Module  6

Week 1: Identify challenges in your local sanitation & waste management

Download Materials
Further Readings

SDG 6 along the water and nutrient cycles

This AGUASAN publication illustrates how the water and nutrient cycles can be used as a tool for creating a common understanding of a water and sanitation system and aligning it with SDG 6.

BROGAN, J., ERLMANN, T., MUELLER, K. and SOROKOVSKYI, V. (2017): SDG 6 along the water and nutrient cycles. Using the water and nutrient cycles as a tool for creating a common understanding of a water and sanitation system - including workshop material. Bern (Switzerland): AGUASAN and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019] PDF

Why shit matters [Video File]

TEDX TALKS (2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4yD0kz34jg [Accessed: 28.03.2019]

"3 billion people worldwide live in cities without sewers or wastewater treatment plant infrastructure. This forces them to dump their waste into open waters, contaminating the drinking water for others downstream. Imagine if we could harness nutrients in wastewater instead of harming human and environmental health. Christoph Lüthi sees a renewable, locally produced and growing resource where others see only human waste. Watch his talk to learn why shit matters! "

Week 2: Identify RRR products and business opportunities

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Further Readings

A public-private partnership linking wastewater treatment and aquaculture (Ghana) - Case Study

AMOAH, P., MUSPRATT, A., DRECHSEL, P. and OTOO, M. (2018): A public-private partnership linking wastewater treatment and aquaculture (Ghana) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section IV, Chapter 15, pp.617-630. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Briquettes from agro-waste (Kampala Jellitone Suppliers, Uganda) - Case Study

GEBREZGABHER, S. and MUSISI, A. (2018): Briquettes from agro-waste (Kampala Jellitone Suppliers, Uganda) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section II, Chapter 3, pp.41-51. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Cooperative model for financially sustainable municipal solid waste composting (NAWACOM, Kenya) - Case Study

OTOO, M., KARANJA, N., ODERO, J. and HOPE, L. (2018): Cooperative model for financially sustainable municipal solid waste composting (NAWACOM, Kenya) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section III, Chapter 3, pp.362-370. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Week 1: Analyse waste supply

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Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 2: Analyse market demand

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Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 3: Analyse your competition

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Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 4: Analyse the institutional environment

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Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 1: Meet the Business Model Canvas

Download Materials
Further Readings

A public-private partnership linking wastewater treatment and aquaculture (Ghana) - Case Study

AMOAH, P., MUSPRATT, A., DRECHSEL, P. and OTOO, M. (2018): A public-private partnership linking wastewater treatment and aquaculture (Ghana) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section IV, Chapter 15, pp.617-630. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Briquettes from agro-waste (Kampala Jellitone Suppliers, Uganda) - Case Study

GEBREZGABHER, S. and MUSISI, A. (2018): Briquettes from agro-waste (Kampala Jellitone Suppliers, Uganda) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section II, Chapter 3, pp.41-51. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Cooperative model for financially sustainable municipal solid waste composting (NAWACOM, Kenya) - Case Study

OTOO, M., KARANJA, N., ODERO, J. and HOPE, L. (2018): Cooperative model for financially sustainable municipal solid waste composting (NAWACOM, Kenya) - Case Study. In: Otoo, M. and Drechsel, P. (Eds.). Resource recovery from waste: business models for energy, nutrient and water reuse in low- and middle-income countries. Oxon (UK): Routledge - Earthscan. Section III, Chapter 3, pp.362-370. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019]

Week 1: Plan your production process

Download Materials
Further Readings

Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. 2nd Revised Edition

This compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.

TILLEY, E. ULRICH, L. LUETHI, C. REYMOND, P. ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) URL [Accessed: 28.07.2014] PDF

Week 2: Understand the treatment process

Further Readings

Treatment technologies for urban solid biowaste to create value products: a review with focus on low- and middle-income settings

LOHRI, C. R., DIENER, S., ZABALETA, I. MERTENAT, A. and ZURBRÜGG, C. (2017): Treatment technologies for urban solid biowaste to create value products: a review with focus on low- and middle-income settings. In: Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 81–130. URL [Accessed: 26.03.2019] PDF

Week 3A: Design technology systems for nutrient recovery

Further Readings

Co-composting of Solid Waste and Fecal Sludge for Nutrient and Organic Matter Recovery

COFIE, O., NIKIEMA, J., IMPRAIM, R., ADAMTEY, N., PAUL, J. and KONÉ, D. (2016): Co-composting of Solid Waste and Fecal Sludge for Nutrient and Organic Matter Recovery. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 3. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Decentralized composting in India

DRESCHER, S. and ZURBRÜGG, C. (2004): Decentralized composting in India. In: Harper et al. Sustainable Composting: Case Studies in Guidelines for Developing Countries. Loughborough (UK): Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, Part2: Case Studies, Chapter 3, pp.15-27. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019] PDF

Low Cost Composting Training Manual: techniques based on the UN-Habitat/Urban Harvest-CIP community based waste management initiatives

KARANJA, N., KWACH, H. and NJENGA, M. (2005): Low Cost Composting Training Manual: techniques based on the UN-Habitat/Urban Harvest-CIP community based waste management initiatives. Nairobi (Kenya): UN-Habitat. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 3B: Design technology systems for energy recovery

Further Readings

Briquette Businesses in Uganda. The potential for briquette enterprises to address the sustainability of the Ugandan biomass fuel market

FERGUSON, H. (2012): Briquette Businesses in Uganda. The potential for briquette enterprises to address the sustainability of the Ugandan biomass fuel market. London (UK): Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) International. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019] PDF

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 3C: Design technology systems for water recovery

Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Chapter 3 - Technology Selection

VEENSTRA, S., ALAERTS, G. and BIJLSMA, M. (1997): Chapter 3 - Technology Selection. In: Helmer, R. and Hespanhol, I. (Eds). Water Pollution Control - A Guide to the Use of Water Quality Management Principles. London (UK): World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume I. Policy and Regulatory Aspects

Volume I of the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater focuses on policy, regulation and institutional arrangements. Accordingly, its intended readership is made up of policy-makers and those with regulatory responsibilities. It provides guidance on policy formulation, harmonisation and mainstreaming, on regulatory mechanisms and on establishing institutional links between the various interested sectors and parties. It also presents a synthesis of the key issues from Volumes II, III, and IV and the index for all four volumes as well as a glossary of terms used in all four volumes is presented in Annex 1.

WHO (2006): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume I. Policy and Regulatory Aspects. Geneva: World Health Organisation URL [Accessed: 10.04.2019]

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume II. Wastewater Use in Agriculture

Volume II of the Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater provides information on the assessment and management of risks associated with microbial hazards and toxic chemicals. It explains requirements to promote the safe use of wastewater in agriculture, including minimum procedures and specific health-based targets, and how those requirements are intended to be used. It also describes the approaches used in deriving the guidelines, including health-based targets, and includes a substantive revision of approaches to ensuring microbial safety.

WHO (2006): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume II. Wastewater Use in Agriculture. Geneva: World Health Organisation URL [Accessed: 05.06.2019] PDF

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume III. Wastewater and Excreta Use in Aquaculture

Volume III of the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater deals with wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture and describes the present state of knowledge regarding the impact of wastewater-fed aquaculture on the health of producers, product consumers and local communities. It assesses the associated health risks and provides an integrated preventive management framework.

WHO (2006): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume III. Wastewater and Excreta Use in Aquaculture. Geneva: World Health Organisation URL [Accessed: 08.05.2019]

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume IV. Excreta and Greywater Use in Agriculture

Volume IV of the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater recognizes the reuse potential of wastewater and excreta (including urine) in agriculture and describes the present state of knowledge as regards potential health risks associated with the reuse as well as measures to manage these health risks following a multi-barrier approach.

WHO (2006): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume IV. Excreta and Greywater Use in Agriculture. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) URL [Accessed: 09.05.2019] PDF

Week 3: Analyse financial viability

Further Readings

Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans

OTOO, M., DRECHSEL, P., DANSO, G., GEBREZGABHER, S., RAO, K. and MADURANGI G. (2016): Testing the implementation potential of resource recovery and reuse business models: from baseline surveys to feasibility studies and business plans. Colombo (Sri Lanka): International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Resource Recovery and Reuse Series 10. URL [Accessed: 27.03.2019]

Week 1: Set objectives and plan activities for launch

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Further Readings

Week 2: Finance the launch

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Further Readings

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