Untreated sewage is the biggest source of water pollution in India with around 70 percent of the raw sewage generated in urban areas entering lakes, rivers, seas and underground aquifers. As India builds more toilets in pursuit of ending open defecation, water pollution is increasing exponentially. The treatment facilities are simply not able to match the sewage generation capacity of toilets. Lack of water in many places also reduce the use of toilets. What could be a viable solution?
Ecosan (short for ecological sanitation) toilets are improved versions of old dry toilets that do not demand water for flushing. The improvements are related to better handling and reuse of excreta as compost. Water hinders degradation of excreta while ash, leaves and sawdust speed it up.
Here is a video on my experience of using an ecosan toilet in Uttarakhand where I live.