Call for Papers

Conference on Decentralised Wastewater Management in Asia - Meeting Urban Sanitation Challenges at Scale

20-23 November 2012
Nagpur, India


The world is facing immerse challenges arising from rapid population growth and intense urbanisation.  In Asia, more than half of the population now live in towns and  cities, and by 2030 it is estimated that this will reach 70%.  Population densities in Asian cities are much higher than other parts of the world, and the predominance of poverty in urban slums is ubiquitous throughout the region.

Against this backdrop, the lack of wastewater management continues to be a huge challenge. Conventional centralised approaches to wastewater management have largely failed to address the wastewater disposal needs of poor communities due to high capital investment, poor operation and maintenance or low connection rates.

As a result, many urban dwellers remain unserved with basic sanitation and the vast majority of wastewater and septage is discharged without any form of treatment into rivers and water bodies, seriously polluting water resources and causing a diversity of economic impacts. As a result of this crisis, demand for affordable but effective wastewater management systems is increasing and there is a growing body of science and practice which demonstrates the opportunities for implementing wastewater management systems based on a decentralised approach.  The decentralised approach – referred to as DEWATS - has been demonstrated to be a cost-effective and efficient way of wastewater treatment to improve environmental health conditions as well as providing opportunities for re-use and resource recovery.  Decentralised approaches also offer increased opportunities for local stakeholder participation in planning and decision-making.

This conference will examine the decentralised approaches, from a technical and engineering perspective, but also taking into consideration the social, institutional and financial aspects that determine the success of these systems.  The conference is the fourth of a series to be organised by IWA in Asia, following on from the “Sanitation Options” Conference in Hanoi, 2008; the “DEWATS in Developing Countries” Conference in Surabaya, 2010 and the “DEWATS for Urban Environments in Asia” Conference in Manila,2011.

The fourth conference in Nagpur will develop the DEWATS theme on a number of specific topics arising from the previous conferences.

Proposed Themes:

1) Policies, standards and regulation
  • National and sub-national policy frameworks
  • Policies for sanitation service provision in informal settlements
  • Legislation and standards
2) Planning
  • Linking local level planning with municipal plans
  • Comparing technology options
  • Prioritisation of investment
3)  Management arrangements
  • Contracting out to small-scale service providers
  • Roles of local authorities
  • Enforcing regulation of the private sector
  • Community management
4) Technological developments
  • Use of information technologies and computer software
  • Sewerage system design
  • Desludging and septage transportation
  • Innovations in treatment processes 
  • Reuse and resource recovery
5) Design and construction
  • Prefabrication of components
  • Labour and skill requirements
  • Quality control during construction
  • Construction issues in dense urban environments
6) Financing
  • Tariff setting 
  • Financing instruments
  • Cost recovery
7) Stakeholder engagement
  • Stakeholder involvement in decision-making 
  • Ensuring accountability 
  • Communications

8) Ensuring sustainability

  • Operations and maintenance requirements
  • Performance monitoring
  • Asset management
  • Maximizing treatment performance


Daniel Cheon
Conference Secretariat
c/o D’addres

Gladys Ng
Manager, East Asia & Pacific Regional Office
International Water Association
Tel: +65-6316-9935