A framework for sustainable planning and decision-making on resource recovery from wastewater: Showcase for são paulo megacity

Mariana C. Chrispim, Fernanda de M. de Souza, Miklas Scholz, Marcelo A. Nolasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, it is important to develop strategic frameworks to support the selection of sustainable resource recovery solutions. This study applies a new framework for planning, implementation, and assessment of resource recovery strategies for a full-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in São Paulo megacity. The framework comprises several steps based on case study-specific data and information from current literature. Data were collected from various sources: a survey with a wastewater treatment utility, national and regional databases, and review of local regulations and international literature. Treatment configuration, wastewater and byproducts composition, potential demand (for water, energy, and phosphorus), stakeholder identification, and local legislation were thoroughly discussed regarding decision-making on resource recovery. Scenario analysis was used to explore suitable nutrient and energy recovery measures based on indicators. Biogas recovery and sewage sludge composting showed more favorable conditions due to similar experiences in the area and robust legislation. The proposed framework is a simplified tool, and its application can support managers to get information on resource recovery and how to plan such initiatives in easier ways to facilitate wiser decision-making, and better operation and management. The results on framework use and refinement can guide potential applications in other contexts and stimulate public policy formulation and further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3466
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Decision-support system
  • Dense urban areas
  • Developing countries
  • Energy recovery
  • Integrated process
  • Resource-oriented sanitation
  • Sewage
  • Water–energy–food nexus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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