Decentralised Water Supply and Sanitation

This course provides theoretical background and practical expertise in the field of low-cost decentralised water supply and sanitation alternatives specifically suitable for the small towns, peri-urban areas and urban slums, small island communities, tourist resorts etc.

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For whom?

Mid-career professionals dealing with planning and management aspects of water supply and sanitation infrastructures, working for municipalities, government ministries, water supply agencies or consulting firms.


MSc. programme entry requirements (BSc degree in engineering or equivalent; Few years of experience in water supply and sanitation sector)

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 04 July 2022
End: 22 July 2022
ECTS credit points: 5
Deadline IHE application: 03 June 2022 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3000

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. identify different technologies/methods for small-scale water abstraction and water treatment that can be used at household or small community level
  2. describe the basics of sustainable sanitation technologies including nutrient reuse in agriculture, solid waste management and fecal sludge management and their implementation in small towns, peri-urban and urban poor areas of developing countries
  3. prepare concept design for small-scale water supply treatment and ecosan technology
  4. facilitate planning, financing, implementation and operation and maintenance of decentralised water supply and sanitation infrastructures based on stakeholder participation and community management

Course content

The course covers the following subjects:

  • Introduction: Module objectives and contents (General introduction to water supply and sanitation situations in small town, peri-urban areas and urban slums etc.)
  • Water Supply Systems: Water sources, supply systems, source selection, water supply service levels, spring catchments and sand dams, wells and pumps, rainwater harvesting, small-scale water treatment methods.
  • Sanitation Systems: Ecological sanitation (introduction to ecosan, basics of conventional wastewater treatment, relevant treatment technologies, ecosan and agriculture, greywater treatment and reuse, linkages between ecosan and Sustainable Development Goals). Faecal Sludge Management, Low-cost Sewerage and Drainage
  • Management aspects of DWSS: Participatory planning and evaluation of DWSS systems, financing and cost recovery, institutional arrangements and operation and maintenance aspects.


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