EcoEng Newsletter No. 11, October 2005

New book
Ecological Engineering for Pest Management
  "Unfortunately 40% of all world food production is being lost to insect pests, plant pathogens and weeds", writes David Pimentel in the foreword of this new book. More than enough motivation to try out all possible ways to reduce this amount of lost food. To do this, e.g., by enhancing natural enemies of pests or by using natural repellents goes well also with IEES' attitude on Ecological Engineering.

But already the foreword raises some question marks in my mind: Shouldn't working with Ecological Engineering approaches completely exclude the use of pesticides? Aren't politics and restricted access to markets also two main reasons for the bad food supply of the "malnourished billions"? Maybe even more important than agro-engineering issues?

Anyway, this book would be worth while being reviewed in this newsletter. Only a lack of sufficient time prevented me from doing it myself for this issue. Whoever is seriously interested in reviewing this book for the next EcoEng-Newsletter should contact me.

Andreas Schoenborn

Biographic information:
Ecological Engineering for Pest Management - Advances in Habitat Manipulation for Arthropods, Gurr, G.M., Wratten, S.D., Altieri, M.A. (eds.), Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, New York, 2004

Relaunched GTZ Ecosan website provides LOTS of information
  The website has been relaunched! As hitherto, the website offers abundant information on the topic of ecosan and the work of the GTZ ecosan project. However, now the information is presented in a more user-friendly structure and in the new GTZ Layout.

An extensive download section is available below the heading "further information". It contains:
  • all publications of the GTZ ecosan project, including the ecosan source book, technical data sheets, project data sheets, posters, papers, etc.
  • all editions of the GTZ ecosan newsletter
  • an ecosan database. This database will be available soon and provide access to more than 400 ecosan publications through a search engine. Meanwhile you may refer to the old download section on
  • links to all relevant institutions with ecosan activities, including ecosan programs, projects, networks, international organisations, NGOs, universities, consulting firms, suppliers, etc.
  • a list of important ecosan events.

Your contributions are very welcome! We happily publish your ecosan documents, project reports, papers, etc with the ecosan database. We are also happy to receive indications for important ecosan events and interesting internet-links.

For questions and contributions related to the ecosan website:


Source: GTZ Ecosan Newsletter No. 17

New thesis: Batch humification of sewage sludge in grass beds
  The doctoral thesis of Holger Pabsch "Batch humification of sewage sludge in grass beds" from the Technical University Hamburg Harburg, comprehensively discusses the possibilities, processes and determing factors in the humification of sewage sludge. Cost aspects and influence of different nutrient concentrations are highlighted as well as questions of hygiene and toxic compounds.

Holger Pabsch states in his abstract: "The batch humification of sewage sludge in grass beds has proven to be an economical and well-working alternative to mechanical dewatering and the humification in reed beds. A major obstacle to larger distribution is the uncertainness about future regulations that may limit or suppress the agricultural reuse of sewage sludge."

Holger Pabsch (2004) "Batch Humification of Sewage Sludge in Grass Beds" - doctoral thesis, Technischen Universitaet Hamburg-Harburg, 151 p. - ISBN 3-86537-291-0


Source: GTZ Ecosan Newsletter No. 17

Ecological Sanitation Modules for Agricultural Reuse in India
  An overview presentation of ecosan modules in the pilot projects of the "Innovative Ecological Sanitation Network India (IESNI)" is now available for download. The presentation shows the IESNI project's status in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnaka and provides layouts for the modules for greywater/blackwater treatment, vermicomposting, biogas production, urine diversion and greywater use. A design for community toilets is also proposed. The modules are currently being tested in pilot projects, where further developments and optimisation is taking place in discussion with the project partners.


Source: GTZ Ecosan Newsletter No. 17

UNICEF's 35 years of experiences with water and sanitation projects in India
  The book from Maggie Black and Rupert Talbot (2005) "Water: a matter of life and health: water supply and sanitation in village India" critically examines what has and needs to be done to fulfil the promise of drinking water and sanitation for all at a time when India faces serious problems of freshwater scarcity, groundwater depletion and environmental pollution. The central theme is UNICEF's 35-year programme of support to rural water supplies in India which has helped provide millions of villagers with clean water and better sanitation. Sunita Narain (Director of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, winner of this year Stockholm Water Prize) says "Maggie Black and Rupert Talbot have produced a wonderfully readable account of what India has faced, and now faces, in terms of rural drinking water crises. Their book will help us to chart our future missions."

Maggie Black and Rupert Talbot (2005) "Water: a matter of life and health: water supply and sanitation in village India." - New York, NY, USA, Oxford University Press. - 288 p. - ISBN 0195669312


Source: GTZ Ecosan Newsletter No. 17

King Hassan II Great World Water Prize 2006
  Worth US$ 100,000 (EUR 79,150), this prize will be awarded at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico in March 2006 to an institution, organization, individual or group of individuals in honor of outstanding achievements in any aspects of water resources such as scientific, economic, technical, environmental, social, institutional, cultural or political. Deadline for application: Sep. 30, 2005

Contact: Melanie Giard,

Source: WSP ACCESS e-Newsletter, August 31, 2005

Integrated Transboundary Water Resource Management Training
  SIWI, together with Sida and Ramboll Natura AB, is also pleased to announce another two-part course, “Integrated Transboundary Water Resource Management,” set to take place in South Africa, March 6 – 17, 2006, and in Sweden, May 29 – June 2, 2006. To reach international water goals requires that transboundary water is managed in an efficient and equitable manner. This programme aims at strengthening the capacities of the people and organisations involved. Application Deadline is November 14.

More information:

Source: David Trouba, SIWI, via Email

Rain: The Neglected Resource - a new report
  The water necessary to produce the food required for an expanding human population is usually discussed only as an issue of blue water for irrigation (the water we use from rivers and aquifers). This discussion neglects that most food production is from rain fed farming.

Link to PDF download:

Source: David Trouba, SIWI, via Email

Zero discharge house at Zuchwil, Switzerland
  The first experimental Swiss house - a one family building - that discharges no wastewater to the environment was built at Zuchwil in the Canton of Solothurn. "Zero discharge" in this setting means that no wastewater is discharged to the sewer network. All wastewater from the household is treated in a membrane filtration unit. Part of the treated wastewater is used for toilet flushing or garden watering, the rest is infiltrated to the ground. In order to further reduce water consumption, rainwater is collected and used for the washing machine.

The odorless sludge remaining from membrane filtration is condensed and added to the other household waste, which is collected by the municipality. Composting would be possible but the garden is too small for that - a ususal situation in densely populated Switzerland.

Sources: [in German] [in German]

Job opening: Tenure-track assistant professor position
  The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in either ecological engineering or water resources engineering. The appointment will be effective July 1, 2006, subject to final budgetary approval. The successful candidate must hold a doctoral degree in an appropriate field and must demonstrate potential for high-quality research and teaching. In the area of ecological engineering, the candidate is expected to develop a research program that examines human interaction with aquatic ecosystems, including consideration of habitat restoration, water quality, or ecosystem function. In the area of water resources engineering, research should address the complex and changing interactions between water needed for municipal and industrial uses, agriculture and natural ecosystems.

The faculty member will teach undergraduate and graduate courses as part of the Civil & Environmental Engineering curricula. The faculty member will be expected to interact with faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the College of Engineering, research centers oncampus, and relevant professional organizations.

Applicants must send by November 28, 2005, a detailed resume, a statement of teaching and research interests relevant to either ecological engineering or water resources engineering, copies of no more than two publications or manuscripts, and the names and contact information for five references to:

Professor Gregory L. Fenves, Chair
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MC 1710
ATTN: E/WRE Faculty Search Committee
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, USA

Applications postmarked after the deadline will not be considered. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.


Special Issue on Consumption and Industrial Ecology
  The Journal of Industrial Ecology, a peer-reviewed, international quarterly published by MIT Press and owned by Yale University, has recently published a special issue on Consumption and Industrial Ecology. The entire special issue is available on the web at for download at no charge.

This issue breaks new ground in providing systematic and quantitative assessments of the impact of consumption - what we buy and what we use - on the environment. The articles in the special issue address the relationship between consumption and factors such as diet change, time use, U.S. house size, worktime reduction, product life spans, quality of life, NGO advocacy strategies, and the rebound effect, as well as the environmental impact of consumption at the household, city and national levels in countries around the world.

Please note that the abstracts of the articles in the Journal of Industrial Ecology are available in Chinese at

Source: Reid Lifeset, via Email

 EPA announces research into "Phosphorus recovery from sewage"
  The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a research project at the University of Cincinnati, into "Phosphorus recovery from sewage". The EPA's National Center for Environmental Research points out that the future sustainable use of phosphorus must include recovery from municipal sewage, and that global research is addressing this issue but research in the USA is lagging.
The project will look at bioprocess engineering for biological nutrient removal from sewage, phosphorus precipitation as struvite, and assess the bioavailability of struvite phosphorus for use as a fertiliser.


From: SCOPE NL 58

Source: GTZ Ecosan Newsletter No. 17

© 2005, International Ecological Engineering Society, Wolhusen, Switzerland