AIT publication presents a new paradigm for sanitation 4.0

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A book by Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) authors posits a new paradigm for Sanitation 4.0. Focusing on regenerative sanitation and described by the authors as the next era in sanitation management, the new book by Prof. Thammarat Koottatep, Dr. Peter Emmanuel Cookey, and Prof. Chongrak Polprasert calls for a change in narrative and a rethinking of sanitation towards more progressive trajectories such as resource recovery and reuse rather than just amelioration.

Titled “Regenerative Sanitation: A New Paradigm For Sanitation 4.0,” the 350-page book has been published by International Water Association Publications.

“Sanitation 4.0 advocates for total rejuvenation and a comprehensive overhaul, and we present critical strategic considerations for its implementation,” says Prof. Thammarat, who serves in AIT’s School of Environment, Resources, and Development (SERD). The concept of regenerative sanitation (ReGenSan) emerged from the need to expand the practicalities of sustainable sanitation (SuSan) and to prevent sanitation from falling behind when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come to a close in 2030. Regenerative Sanitation suggests a paradigm shift from a technology and toilet focus on solving development challenges to a focus on benefits, safety, functionality, replicability, reliability, and moving from pilots to the marketplace, Prof. Thammarat adds.

Emeritus Professor Chongrak Polprasert, adds: “Any progressive movement targeting 2030 will need to shift and change the way we consider sanitation.” What is at stake is not just a transition from a technology and toilet focus, but a complete overhaul of sanitation concepts to include users, contexts, locations, and marketplace targeting those at the base of the social pyramid, he says.

The book aims to generate interest in a new way for practitioners, teachers, trainers, policymakers, regulators, researchers, and students to think about sanitation, say the three authors. While Prof. Thammarat and Prof. Chongrak serve as AIT, at the time of writing Dr. Peter Emmanuel Cookey of IHE Delft Institute of Water Education in the Netherlands was working in Environmental Engineering and Management at AIT.

Consisting of seven chapters, the book examines inter- as well as transdisciplinary approaches and encourages collaboration between engineers, scientists, technologists, social scientists, and others in order to provide effective and practical user-centered solutions.

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