Projects that work to develop better methods for managing waste and waste water are crucial to integrate into our communities to ensure a sustainable future. There is an overwhelming need to manage the increase in our waste usage as we continue to grow in population and in product consumption. Below are a list of core indicators that should be maximized to increase the impact of the proposed project.
A. Sustainable Water Management – Water Use Sustainability and Efficiency Projects #1) Annual water savings Annual water savings for example from: – reduction in water losses in water transfer and/or distribution – reduction in water consumption of economic activities (e.g. industrial processes, agricultural activities including irrigation, buildings, etc.)12 – water re-use and/or water use avoided by waterless solutions and equipment, (e.g. for sanitation, cooling systems for power plants, industrial processes, etc.)
• Annual absolute (gross) water use before and after the project in m3/a, reduction in water use in %
Benchmarks: – Internationally recognized benchmark standards for water use efficiency (e.g. EU Directives and Best Available Techniques reference standards or industry/sector good/best practice standards) – The Water Exploitation Index Plus (WEI+) or internationally recognized tools such as WRI’s Aqueduct, and the WWF’s Water Risk Filter – The average monthly water consumption as a percentage of the sustainable basin water
B. Wastewater Treatment Projects (including Sewage Sludge Management) #2) Annual volume of wastewater treated or avoided13 Annual amount of: – wastewater treated to appropriate standards or raw/untreated wastewater discharges avoided – wastewater avoided, reused or minimized at source
• Annual absolute (gross) amount of wastewater treated, reused or avoided before and after the project in m3/a and p.e./a and as %
Population equivalent (1 p.e.) or 60 g of BOD5 (EU definition)
#3) Treatment and disposal and/or reuse of sewage sludge Treatment, disposal and/or reuse of sewage sludge (according to country legislation compatible with internationally recognized standards): – Sludge that is treated and disposed of (e.g. dewatering, sanitization, composting, digestion without biogas extraction) – Sludge that is reused (e.g. digestion with biogas recovery, phosphorous recovery, agriculture use, combustion)
• Annual absolute (gross) amount of raw/untreated sewage sludge that is treated and disposed of (in tonnes of dry solids p.a. and in %)
• Annual absolute (gross) amount of sludge that is reused (in tonnes of dry solids p.a. and in %)
Note: Projects which involve sludge that is dumped in landfill or stored in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) premises or sludge that is recycled without approved safeguards will be excluded. In portfolio reporting, this may be combined with utilization, recycling and/ or disposal of other types of (solid) waste for one aggregated figure.
Improvements in sustainable water management may also come via small interventions (e.g. distributed sustainable water assets include composting toilets, low-flow water fixtures, efficient washing machines, micro-irrigation systems and rainwater tanks). 13 Water and wastewater projects may be deemed to have multiple benefits which can be broken out or reported according to the most meaningful impact.
Benchmarks: – Internationally recognized benchmark standards for wastewater/effluent quality at discharge and treatment efficiency (e.g. EU Directive, HELCOM recommendations or national standards) – Total discharges in m3 or p.e. (if known) or concentrations of pollutants (BOD5 and/or Ntot and/or Ptot) in the recipient surface water body (a river basin, a lake or a regional sea) – Water quality indices, such as UN Global Water Quality Index (WQI), could be used to characterize the baseline environmental conditions of the recipient surface water body
Other Sustainability Indicators
#1) Improved water supply infrastructure and facilities and/or improved quality of the supplied drinking water as a result of the project Indicators:
• Number of people with access to clean drinking water (or annual volume of clean drinking water in m3/a supplied for human consumption) through infrastructure supporting sustainable and efficient water use (where average consumption per person is consistent with internationally recognized standards for sustainable water use)
Benchmarks: – The definition of “clean drinking water” follows internationally recognized drinking water quality standards, such as WHO or EU.
#2) Improved sanitation facilities that have been constructed under the project The increase in the share of the population connected to wastewater collection and treatment systems helps in domestic water pollution abatement, and prevents long lasting environmental damage to the aquifers.
• Number of people with access to improved sanitation facilities under the project
Benchmarks: – The definition of “improved sanitation facilities” follows the UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Program definition.
#3) Improved measures to reduce the risk from adverse flooding impact This may include, for example, improved hydrometeorological forecasting, improved early warning systems, infrastructure for flood mitigation (levees and reservoirs), flood zoning and improved basin planning.
• Number of people and/or enterprises (e.g. companies or farms) benefitting from measures to mitigate the consequences of floods and droughts
#4) Sustainable land and water resources management (SLM) systems in place SLM for the preservation and restoration of natural landscapes (such as floodplains, forests, watersheds, and wetlands) will be site-specific as different areas require different interventions. These may include land use regimes (e.g. watershed plans, soil and water conservation zones); agronomic and vegetative measures (e.g. intercropping, afforestation); water-efficient irrigation; structural measures (e.g. flood control and drainage measures, water harvesting, run-off management, gully control measures); and/or active recharge by upstream activities to ensure a sustainable quantity of water. Land area may not be considered a pertinent indicator for localized actions that are not significant at a watershed level.
• Area covered by sustainable land and water resources management practices
• Annual catchment of water (m3/year) that complies with quantity (m3/year) and quality (e.g. turbidity) requirements by utilities.