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Dr. Dorothee Spuhler

Full name
Dorothee Spuhler
Eawag and VaLoo
Position in the Organization
Senior Researcher and Project Manager, Member of the Board, Lead Knowledge and Awareness

Short Bio

I am a sustainable sanitation and water management expert working at the science to practice interface. I hold a MSc in Environmental Engineering, a PhD in urban water management, and a CAS in development cooperation. I started my career working in a GIZ funded Ecosan Project in Burkina Faso. I then became in 2008 a member of SuSanA and worked from 2009 on as consultant doing project management and capacity development at individual and institutional level resulting in the toolbox.

Since 2010 I am also co-leading the SuSanA working group on capacity development. Currently I work at Eawag’s Department for Sanitation, Solid Waste, and Water for Development (Sandec) as a senior project manager and researcher. I develop and lead real-life validation of open-source planning tools and technology innovations. The aim is facilitating the design and implementation of locally appropriate, socially accepted, and circular water and sanitation systems for global development.

I have also co-founded VaLoo, the Swiss Network for Circular Sanitation in 2020 and since then act as executive board member and lead for knowledge & awareness. I am also an active member of the Swiss CoP Aguasan. Besides all this I am teaching at university level and facilitating further education activities. My diverse network both locally and globally helps me to connect research with practice and people around the globe.

Motivation/Commitment to the GSC 

Today, the sanitation sector is at an inflection point. The SuSanA network can play a central role through advocacy, as a knowledge and exchange hub and as a sounding board. We have to maintain and guide the community to enable the paradigm shift and ensure that sustainable sanitation is not only a buzzword, but that viable technical, social, financial, and legal solutions are made available.

As a member of the GSC, I will contribute to the steering of the network to ensure its utility, effectiveness and long-term sustainability and widely disseminate the products (publications, innovations etc) generated by SuSanA and its members.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the SuSanA community?

I became a member of SuSanA from the first day on when I was still a student in 2008. This network as significantly influenced my professional development conceptually and practically. And I also had the chance to provide important content and strategic contributions to the network as member of the SuSanA core group. I have devoted my professional live to contributing to sustainable sanitation for global development. SuSanA has been and hopefully will be an important platform to carry out my mission in collaboration with others.

Since 2008, much has happened. While climate change has become a reality, sustainable sanitation is established in the SDGs, technical innovations are finding their way into practice, and the potential of non-sewered sanitation to cope future water, climate and nutrient crises has been mainstreamed.

This development is directly reflected by different national networks in Europe for sustainable sanitation such as VaLoo. While sustainable sanitation has become mainstream, the first mission of SuSanA is accomplished. But this network is more needed than ever to provide evidence, information, knowledge, and tools to support the implementation in practice.

It would be an honour to continue working with the network and to offer my time, my experience, and my network to ensure that this vibrant and relevant community continuous influencing the sector.

Links to personal website, social media

LinkedIn Profile 

Eawag - Contact Profile

VaLoo - Circular Sanitation Network Switzerland

SuSanA Working Group 1 - Capacity Development

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