Water and Development

water, sanitation and hygiene

Access to safe drinking water and sanitation are recognized in the Millennium Development Goals as key contributors to human health and welfare. Hygienic practices are also crucially important to prevent the spread of diarrheal disease, a major cause of childhood mortality. Appropriate management of excreta protects the environment and can allow for the recovery of nutrients and energy.


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March 21, 2017

Inadequate solid waste management poses significant health and environmental problems in low- and middle-income countries. However, numerous treatment and recycling options are now available which can not only improve sanitary conditions but also provide commercial opportunities for local enterprises.  Read more

February 21, 2017

As a result of climate change, concentrations of the trace element selenium in soils are likely to decrease. Because the selenium content of crops may also be reduced, the risk of selenium deficiency could be increased in many regions of the world. This was shown by a recent study which used data-mining to model the global distribution of selenium. Read more

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Scientific publications

Lohri,C.R.; Diener,S.; Zabaleta,I.; Mertenat,,A.; Zurbrügg,C. (2017) Treatment technologies for urban solid biowaste to create value products: a review with focus on low- and middleincome settings, Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology, 50 pp., doi:10.1007/s11157-017-9422-5, Institutional Repository
Lilje,J.; Mosler,H.J. (2016) Continuation of health behaviors: psychosocial factors sustaining drinking water chlorination in a longitudinal study from Chad, Sustainability, 8(11), 1149 (20 pp.), doi:10.3390/su8111149, Institutional Repository
Lohri,C.R.; Zabaleta,I.; Rohr,M.; Baier,U.; Zurbrügg,C. (2016) Improving the energy-related aspects of biowaste treatment in an experimental hydrothermal carbonization reactor, Waste and Biomass Valorization, 1-14, doi:10.1007/s12649-016-9746-3, Institutional Repository
Gosset,M.; Kunstmann,H.; Zougm ore,F.; Cazenave,F.; Leijnse,H.; Uijlenhoet,R.; Chwala,C.; Keis,F.; Doumounia,A.; Boubacar,B.; Kacou,M.; Alpert,P.; Messer,H.; Rieckermann,J.; Hoedjes,J. (2016) Improving rainfall measurement in gauge poor regions thanks to mobile telecommunication networks, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(3), ES49-ES51, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00164.1, Institutional Repository
Seimetz,E.; Boyayo,A.M.; Mosler,H.J. (2016) The Influence of Contextual and Psychosocial Factors on Handwashing, The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 21 pp, doi:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0657, Institutional Repository
Vögeli,Y.; Lohri,C.R.; Gallardo,A.; Diener,S.; Zurbrügg,C. (2014) Anaerobic Digestion of Biowaste in Developing Countries. Practical Information and Case Studies, 135 pp, Institutional Repository

New MOOC „Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management“

Sandec launches in collaboration with EPFL fourth MOOC on May 1st: During 5 weeks, the MOOC "Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management“ will give insights on how to apply concepts of sustainable faecal sludge management on a city-wide scale.


Dr. Christoph Lüthi
  • developing countries
  • urban planning
  • sustainable water management
  • urban sanitation
  • urban water management
  • transdisciplinary research
  • drinking water
Regula Meierhofer
  • urban planning
  • sustainable water management
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
  • water supply