Discover the Editor's Choice: From each issue of the leading journal Water Science & Technology the core team of editors select one outstanding paper to share across IWA Publishing platforms.  

IWA Publishing is pleased to announce that the 47th Editor's Choice Paper, chosen by Dr Daniele Cecconet, is now Open Access: 

Evaluating financial sustainability along the sanitation value chain using a financial flow simulator (eSOSView™) 

Claire Furlong, Shirish Singh, Nitesh Shrestha, Mingma Gyalzen Sherpa, Christoph Lüthi, Fiona Zakaria and Damir Brdjanovic

Why was this paper chosen?

Most of the world’s population relies on onsite sanitation systems, characterized by storage and treatment in proximity of the generation site. The sanitation value chain (i.e., the different stages in handling and disposal of the produced sludge) will involve a multiplicity of service providers and generate a flow of both materials and money. Therefore, a method to assess the economic feasibility of practices in the sanitation value chain is needed to allow the proper development of the sludge management procedures.

Furlong et al. proposes a novel and innovative tool (eSOSViewTM) to simulate, evaluate, and optimize financial flows in the sanitation value chain, to be applied as supplement to existing decision support systems. This tool allows the calculation of material streams and flows based on population, toilet and interface types, along with enabling the evaluation of the capacity of connected facilities. Each component of the sanitation value chain is then analyzed in detail; CAPEX, OPEX and financial indicators are calculated for each step and the whole chain.

Notably, the tool was first validated using data from a real case study in Nonthaburi City Municipality (Thailand) and then piloted in Pokhara metropolitan City (Nepal) following a data collection campaign. The tool successfully modeled the current financial flows of both case studies; in addition, it provided future scenarios simulations to support the necessary decision-making process.

I appreciated reading a paper that represents an innovative approach to onsite sanitation with practical relevance and I hope that this also applies to the readership of this issue of Water Science & Technology.

Daniele Cecconet, Editor.

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