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About UNEP
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United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
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Water and Sanitation – Activities

Phytotechnology and Water

The term Phytotechnology is the application of science and engineering to study problems and provide solutions involving vegetation to a variety of environmental conditions. It is based on use of the ecosystem services provided by plants. Some examples of its application include the reduction and control of pollution through wetland systems, restoration of degraded natural or industrial land, carbon sinks and ameliorating the effects and impacts of climate change.

IETC application of Phytotechnology relates to the use of wetlands for water quality, and sanitation improvement, wastewater treatment as well as for the restoration of degraded aquatic ecosystems. Artificially constructed wetlands are considered as one of the best options due to their low costs and environmental and social friendliness particularly when compared with other conventional technological approaches. To facilitate the design of artificial subsurface flow wetlands a software application has been developed (SubWet 2.0) while SufWet 1.0 for surface flow wetland systems, and WetRestore wetland restoration assessment.

IETC has implemented a project in Brazil using SubWet 2.0 and Iraq to treat domestic wastewater. The forthcoming project Sanitation and Water Efficiency Enhancing Technologies (SWEET) uses SubWet 2.0 as one of the main tools. A self-learning Interactive Training Package considering the above mentioned software application and others will be produced during the 2010.