Wise investments in wastewater management will generate significant returns, as addressing wastewater is a key step in reducing poverty and sustaining ecosystem services
The policy recommendations presented in part III of this re- port propose a two-pronged, incremental approach to tackle immediate consequences whilst thinking to the long term:
A 1. 2. Tackle immediate consequences
Countries must adopt a multi-sectoral approach to wastewa- ter management as a matter of urgency, incorporating prin- ciples of ecosystem-based management from the watersheds into the sea, connecting sectors that will reap immediate benefits from better wastewater management.
Successful and sustainable management of wastewater re- quires a cocktail of innovative approaches that engage the public and private sector at local, national and transboundary scales. Planning processes should provide an enabling envi- ronment for innovation, including at the community level but require government oversight and public management.
Innovative financing of appropriate wastewater infrastruc- ture should incorporate design, construction, operation, maintenance, upgrading and/or decommissioning. Fi- nancing should take account of the fact that there are im- portant livelihood opportunities in improving wastewater treatment processes, whilst the private sector can have an important role in operational efficiency under appropriate public guidance.
12 B 4. 5. 6. Thinking to the long term
In light of rapid global change, communities should plan wastewater management against future scenarios, not cur- rent situations.
Solutions for smart wastewater management must be so- cially and culturally appropriate, as well as economically and environmentally viable into the future.
Education must play a central role in wastewater manage- ment and in reducing overall volumes and harmful content of wastewater produced, so that solutions are sustainable.