Hyderabad: Study by UoH team published in One Earth Journal
Hyderabad: A study on 'Nature provides valuable sanitation services' by a team associated with University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been published in One Earth Journal.
The study was conducted by Dr. Prajna Paramita Mishra, faculty, and Kongala Venkatesh, research associate, in the School of Economics, UoH in association with School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, UK, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, UK; Department of Geography, Durham University, UK, School of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, UK and Fresh Water Action Network South Asia, Tarnaka, Telangana.
Previous research has shown that safe disposal of human waste has a positive impact on human wellbeing, while preventing the degradation of ecosystems. However, to date, the role that ecosystems play in treating human waste has been largely neglected, the UoH said in a press release on Wednesday. The research team conceptualised the role nature plays in treating human waste-acting as a pipeline and/or treatment plant. They estimated that nature is treating ~41.7 million tons of human waste per year worldwide.
The team demonstrated opportunities and challenges of quantifying these 'sanitation ecosystem services', using 48 cities across the globe as a worked example.
"In highlighting this, we are not marginalising the vital role of engineered infrastructure, but instead promoting better understanding of how engineered and natural infrastructure interacts within a circular economy. This is a promising route for further research and may allow adaptive design and management, reducing costs, and improving effectiveness and sustainability," the researchers said.