Toilets, in fact, are by far the largest source of water use inside homes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Wiser management could save vast amounts of water, an urgent need as climate change worsens drought in places like the American West.
It could also help with another profound problem: Inadequate sanitation systems — including leaky septic tanks and aging wastewater infrastructure — overload rivers, lakes and coastal waters with nutrients from urine. Runoff from chemical fertilizer makes it worse. The result is algal blooms that trigger mass die-offs of animals and other plants.
Beyond the practical benefits of turning urine into fertilizer, some are also drawn to a transformative idea behind the endeavor. By reusing something once flushed away, they say, they are taking a revolutionary step toward tackling the biodiversity and climate crises: moving away from a system that constantly extracts and discards, toward a more circular economy that reuses and recycles in a continuous loop.
The next year, about 100 more women were fertilizing with it, then 1,000. His team’s research ultimately found that urine, either with animal manure or alone, increased yields of pearl millet, the staple crop, by about 30%. That could mean more food for a family, or the ability to sell their surplus at market and get cash for other necessities. It was taboo for some women to use the word urine, so they renamed it oga, which means “boss” in the Ibo language.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction