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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Studying at Cambridge

 

2010 Dr Amparo Flores

Amparo joined the group in 2006 and is researching the sustainability of alternative wastewater management or sanitation systems as compared to conventional sanitation systems (particularly waterbourne-sewerage connected to centralised treatment plants). Her research will be based on four case studies in the Republic of China, South Africa, USA, and UK. The sustainability of sanitation systems will be evaluated based on environmental, economic, and socio-cultural indicators. Environmental indicator values will primarily be derived from a Life Cycle Analysis using GaBi software. Economic indicators will be based on the traditional engineering economic approach of Life Cycle Costing, as well as an analysis of affordability issues and impacts on local economies. Finally, the socio-cultural dimension of sustainability will be assessed based on semi-structured interviews of stakeholders, observations, and literature review. This research's overall goal is to contribute to the increased sustainability of sanitation systems in urban and peri-urban areas. For developing countries, a specific goal is to identify or develop sanitation solutions that are affordable and acceptable to users, while satisying the needs for public health and environmental protection. The focus of the research will be urban and peri-urban areas; with the rapid growth being experienced in such areas in developing countries, there is an urgent need for such solutions in order to improve sanitation coverage and to mitigate and prevent public health and environmental disasters. The target audience for this research consists of two main groups: urban planners and engineers who are called upon to design wastewater treatment systems and policy-makers. Under the overall goal described above, the general objectives of this research are: 1) through the rigorous analysis of the sustainability of various sanitation options, to inform the technology selection and design process, and encourage planners and engineers to consider alternatives to conventional systems should the research indicate that they have advantages from a sustainability perspective and 2) to provide guidance on the development of sustainability-oriented sanitation policies.

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