Water Safety Plans:
Water Safety Plans (WSP) can provide a systematic means to address and manage health-related water risks. They provide a practical framework to implement a systematic, risk-based approach to most effectively ensure consistent supplies of safe drinking water. The WSP approach requires that hazards and associated risks be identified in the entire water supply chain, from catchment to point of use, and it gives a framework for the prioritisation and management of those hazards and risks (Bartram et al., 2009; WHO, 2012; WHO/IWA, 2013). WHO and its partner organisations, including the International Water Association (IWA), actively support the WSP approach. Several tools exist to assist in the development and implementation of WSPs (WHO 2012; WHO/IWA 2013).
WHO (2012) Water safety planning for small community water supplies: step-by-step risk management guidance for drinking-water supplies in small communities. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
WHO/IWA (2013) Water safety plan quality assurance tool. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Difficult questions to answer:
Which water resource should be developed? Is it better to remove the chemical or to find a chemically safe resource?
- Which technology is best suited for water treatment in this particular setting?
- On which scale can this technology best be applied?
Answers should be based on the combined understanding of available water resources, institutional setting, financing strategies and acceptability. Those responsible for water supply often have to make choices between these different approaches without a solid evidence base and sometimes without a clear method for taking decisions. A list of factors for the comparative evaluation of technologies is given below (Fig. 7.2).