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Sanitary Systems: Challenges for Innovation

Review paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2019, pp 193-212
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d6.0231
Sabine Eijlander1 , Karel F. Mulder2
1 Faculty of Technology, Innovation and Society, The Hague University of Applies Sciences, Rotterdamseweg 137, 2628 AL Delft, The Netherlands
2 Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands


Global society is confronted with various challenges: climate change should be mitigated, and society should adapt to the impacts of climate change, resources will become scarcer and hence resources should be used more efficiently and recovered after use, the growing world population and its growing wealth create unprecedented emissions of pollutants, threatening public health, wildlife and biodiversity. This paper provides an overview of the challenges and risks for sewage systems, next to some opportunities and chances that these developments pose. Some of the challenges are emerging from climate change and resource scarcity, others come from the challenges emerging from stricter regulation of emissions. It also presents risks and threats from within the system, next to external influences which may affect the surroundings of the sewage systems. It finally reflects on barriers to respond to these challenges.

Keywords: Sanitary systems, Climate change adaptation and mitigation, Resource recovery, Sewage effluents, Emissions, Lock in, Load factor.

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