Featured Stories

We are participating in the conversation about equitable and
resilient public health and sanitation systems.

Sobering realities for World Water Day

World Water Day is celebrated worldwide today, March 22 and here in Portland on Saturday.  As advocates of sustainable sanitation we have trouble with the custom of using our drinking water to transport our human excreta, household graywater, industrial chemicals, and storm water runoff to the wastewater treatment plant.  Portland’s Bull Run water is among the best in the world. The best long tall drink a person can ask for. We shouldn’t be pooping and peeing into it.
There are other ways.   It’s time make the shift.  The world’s farmers need our water, our urine and our composted feces.  Just look at the facts:
  • There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. This means that 70% more food will be needed, up to 100% in developing countries.
  • Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat. It takes about 1500 liters of water to produce 1 kg of wheat, but it takes 10 12 times more to produce 1kg of beef!
  • Roughly 30% of the food produced worldwide – about 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted every year. Diets with excessive food intake are also a source of waste and a cause of growing heath costs.
  • By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.
  • During the second half of the 20th century, world population had a twofold increase, agriculture doubled food production and developing countries increased per capita food consumption by 30 percent.
Source:  World Water Day 2012 Advocacy Guide

From the Blog

Public Restrooms and COVID-19: Guidelines for Reopening

June 29, 2020 The re-opening of the economy during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic depends on the successful re-opening of toilet facilities. Retail businesses, manufacturing firms, trade workshops, food-processing units, schools and universities, and government institutions must protect people from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And they are in a position to support…


There’s plenty of toilet paper in the US – so why are people hoarding it?

Almost 150 U.S. companies make toilet paper. Studio Dagdagaz/Shutterstock.com Jay L. Zagorsky, Boston University The other day I went into Costco to buy some toilet paper. It came as a small shock when I couldn’t find a single roll. The new coronavirus is inspiring panic buying of a variety of household products such as…


The POOP Project is coming to Portland 2/22/2020!

Straight from New York City, The POOP Project is coming to Portland! How do you break the potty taboo and catalyze creative conversation about sustainable sanitation for the person, planet and world community?  The People’s Own Organic Power (POOP) Project​ has been showing us how, using a brilliant combination of theater,…