Wetlands Work strives to create innovative solutions that are simple, low maintenance and affordable. We focus on wastewater treatment systems, sanitation promotion and awareness, and water quality testing. Keeping it local is a WW! priority – local labor and materials are used, and the application of treated water and waste products in agriculture is promoted.
The water WW! treats comes from a variety of sources: residential, institutional, commercial, industrial, zoo animal enclosures and turtle breeding ponds, remote ecotourist stations and natural swimming pools. Our work is research-based and often eclectic, and has produced novel designs including the HandyPod for challenging floating and land-based environments, the TerraPod – a promising research design for persistent environmental contaminants, a $3 hand pump, a $20 hand washing water filter for contaminated ambient water, and a simple FSM protocol for HandyPods and pit latrines
WW 2020 BIG IDEAS PROGRAM
- Sanitation in Challenging Environments – HandyPod
— to continue programs for vulnerable populations in Cambodia and Myanmar using WW!’s unique HandyPod treatment system and innovative program for sanitation marketing
— to initiate new scale-up projects at UN World Heritage Sites and UN Ramsar Biosphere Reserves including Loktak Lake, Assam, India and Lac Nokoue, Benin
WW! seeks USD $100,000 annually over 3-4 years for each location.
- Community Beach Sanitation – with WW! HandyPod adaptation
— to address sanitation on densely populated Pacific Islands and over-burdened tourist beach communities which suffer from polluted groundwater and nearshore swimming water
— HandyPods can provide recreational water quality discharges useful for garden plants or island-based aquaculture, and provide protection of sea grass beds and nearshore coral reefs by reducing nutrient-based epiphytes that diminish biodiversity
WW! seeks USD $75,000 annually over 3-4 years for each island and beach project.
- Reuse of Human Waste – Urine
— initiating a circular economy of household urine diversion which is paid for and collected by a local entrepreneur, then sold to local farmers as a ‘perfect NPK’ (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) sterile fertilizer
— traditional provision of agricultural fertilizer is expensive, of significantly variable quality, uses the non-renewable mineral phosphate, and its energy intensive production is a major greenhouse gas source
WW! seeks USD $60,000 annually over 4 years for project development in Kachin State, Myanmar.
- Reuse of Human Waste – Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)
— initiating WW!’s simple rural household FSM composting protocol documented by WW! lab and field research
— to provide a useful pathogen-free home garden soil supplement resulting in more water retention and aeration, less dry-season compaction and improved garden production.
— improved garden soil structure will result in less soil erosion during our erratic climate’s more frequent dry and wet spells. This FSM protocol is useful for HandyPods as well as pit latrines
WW! seeks USD $50,000 annually over 4 years for project development in Cambodia.
- Landscape-scale Wetland/Lake Reservoirs — Climate adaptation, drought resilience & multiple use
— initiating a proposal for multi-purpose reservoirs in Cambodia, documenting environmental, social and economic benefits as well as construction and long term maintenance costs. Benefits include drought period irrigation and potable supply, groundwater recharge for wells and regional wetlands, biodiversity and recreation.
WW! seeks USD $180,000 over 2 years to develop a formal proposal for multilateral aid.
Sanitation Promotion and Awareness
We partner with NGOs, government and other stakeholders in developing and implementing programs for raising awareness of the importance of sanitation and the link between environmental and human health among diverse groups. WW! provides teacher hygiene education as well as classroom materials on proper hygiene practices in numerous floating schools where HandyPod sanitation has been installed on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake. In the near future, WW! will initiate for local Cambodian schools a talk-and-field-trip format about the multitude of services natural wetlands provide.