Assessing the costs and benefits of Water Safety Plans
A survey was conducted to assess the costs and benefits of the WSPs developed at 197 production units operated by the SUEZ Company and serving a total of 10.6 million consumers in France, Spain, Cuba, Morocco and Macao. The results demonstrate benefits in terms of confidence of clients and health agencies. The main benefits however consist of a better control of hazards, especially new hazards that were previously overlooked, and of the treatments steps which are deemed as the most important for water safety. As the progress achieved is essentially linked with unregulated contaminants, improvements in compliance rate were rarely observed after implementation of WSPs. It is supposed that better control of these hazards, together with improved process control, result in improved safety for the consumers.
A practical guide to auditing Water Safety Plans
This document provides guidance on developing and implementing a WSP auditing scheme, covering such topics as the aim and role of auditing, auditor training and certification, audit criteria, audit timing and frequency and audit reporting. The guidance document includes examples, tips, tools and case studies, and it serves as a practical resource for policy makers, government bodies responsible for drinking-water regulation or surveillance and water suppliers implementing WSPs.
Developing drinking water safety plans
This document provides guidance to water suppliers on the steps involved in developing a water safety plan and an outline of what it should contain in the Irish context. It contains guidance and useful templates on hazard identification, risk assessment and the preparation of action plans for the hazards identified.
Linking water quality monitoring and climate-resilient water safety planning in two urban drinking water utilities in Ethiopia
Unsafe drinking water is a recognized health threat in Ethiopia, and climate change, rapid population growth, urbanization and agricultural practices put intense pressure on availability and quality of water. Climate change-related health problems due to floods and waterborne diseases are increasing. With increasing insight into impacts of climate change and urbanization on water availability and quality and of required adaptations, a shift towards climate-resilient water safety planning was introduced into an Ethiopian strategy and guidance document to guarantee safe drinking water. Climate-resilient water safety planning was implemented in the urban water supplies of Addis Ababa and Adama, providing drinking water to 5 million and 500,000 people, respectively. Based on the risks identified with climate-resilient water safety planning, water quality monitoring can be optimized by prioritizing parameters and events which pose a higher risk for contaminating the drinking water. Water quality monitoring was improved at both drinking water utilities and at the Public Health Institute to provide relevant data used as input for climate-resilient water safety planning. By continuously linking water quality monitoring and climate-resilient water safety planning, utilization of information was optimized, and both approaches benefit from linking these activities.
Safe drinking water in regional NSW, Australia
The New South Wales (NSW) Public Health Act 2010 requires water suppliers to implement a drinking water quality assurance program that addresses the ‘Framework for management of drinking water quality’ in the Australian drinking water guidelines. NSW Health has recognised the importance of a staged implementation of this requirement and the need to support regional water utilities. To date, NSW Health has assisted 74 regional utilities to develop and implement their management systems. The Public Health Act 2010 has increased awareness of drinking water risk management, and offers a systematic process to identify and control risks. This has benefited large utilities, smaller suppliers, and remote and Aboriginal communities. Work is continuing to ensure implementation of the process by private suppliers and water carters.
Microbial barrier analysis (MBA) – a guideline
In order to safeguard the public against waterborne diseases, water utilities must secure that multiple, microbial barriers are provided for in their drinking water systems. In most water utilities disinfection of the water represents an important barrier, but microbial barriers may also be achieved by other actions, for example in the catchment area.
Based on experiences from Norway, Sweden and Finland, this guideline is a helpful tool for implementing Water Safety Plans. The guideline explains the "barrier concept" and assist water utilities as well as their their consultants in determining what actions to take to ensure that the microbial barriers in their systems are sufficient – and that the water is safe to drink.
Comparing the German enabling environment for nationwide Water Safety Plan implementation with international experiences: Are we still thinking big or already scaling up?
Ensuring safe drinking-water is the target of the Water Safety Plan (WSP) approach, which has been successfully applied to a large number of water supply systems around the world. Effective country-wide scaling up of WSP implementation requires an enabling environment at the policy level.
By utilizing a multi-step mixed methods approach, this study summarizes international experience with WSP implementation and scaling-up efforts following the 8 steps of the WSP road map published by WHO and IWA for an enabling environment, shows what steps Germany has in place, and compares this with published international experience to inspire further policy action.
Contrasting the international experience to the German situation revealed several overlaps but also profound differences, which, in turn, offer opportunities for mutual learning. Most experience in Germany and internationally is documented for the earlier steps of the WSP road map. Information particularly on developing a national strategy, securing financial instruments, activities to support continual implementation of WSPs and on review of the overall WSP experiences and sharing lessons learned appears to be scarce, while the importance of training, collaboration and alliances, and the value of a regulatory push are often stressed. In Germany, stakeholder engagement, guidance documents and workshop materials have been of vital importance. Information that could particularly inform further action in Germany mostly relate to considering a national WSP strategy, and how to shape an approach for external quality assurance of WSPs.
Climate-resilient water safety plans: Managing health risks associated with climate variability and change
This document provides guidance on how climate considerations can be integrated into water safety planning to provide greater resilience to the current and predicted impacts of climate change and variability on water supplies. The guidance is supported by numerous practical examples of climate resilient water safety planning from both low and high income settings.
Nepal: Water safety plan
Under AusAid funding, WHO supported Water safety plan implementation in Nepal. This case study reports on key WSP facts, and describes the status of water supply.
Water safety planning for urban water utilities: Practical guide for ADB staff
This handbook provides practical guidance on integrating the water safety plan (WSP) approach into ADB's urban water projects to facilitate compliance with global good practices. Following the WHO’s Water Safety Plan Manual (2009), adapted to ADB’s operations, this handbook offers step-by-step guidance on developing and implementing a WSP, serving as an example of how external support agencies may integrate WSPs into their urban water programmes.
Plan de gestion de la sécurité sanitaire de l’eau : un guide pratique pour l’amélioration de la sécurité sanitaire de l’eau potable dans les petites communautés
Disposer d’eau potable de qualité acceptable et en suffisance est une condition préalable et essentielle à la bonne santé, au développement économique et à la durabilité des moyens de subsistance des familles des collectivités rurales. La mise en place d’un plan de gestion de la sécurité sanitaire de l’eau constitue l’approche la plus efficace en vue d’assurer l’alimentation en eau potable dans les systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau à petite échelle.
Le guide pratique explique cette approche étape par étape, et présente un ensemble de modèles prêts à l’emploi afin que les personnes ou entités chargées de l’approvisionnement en eau dans les zones rurales puissent élaborer et mettre en œuvre leur propre plan de gestion de la sécurité sanitaire de l’eau.
Le guide pratique s’adresse en particulier aux membres de la communauté rurale responsables de l’exploitation et de la gestion de l’approvisionnement en eau, ainsi qu’au personnel des services locaux de santé et d’approvisionnement en eau chargé de la préservation de la qualité de l’eau potable, et aux organisations non gouvernementales qui veillent à la sécurité sanitaire de l’eau potable dans les collectivités rurales.
Measuring the Impacts of Water Safety Plans in the Asia-Pacific Region
This study investigated the effectiveness of Water Safety Plans (WSP) implemented in 99 water supply systems across 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. An impact assessment methodology including 36 indicators was developed based on a conceptual framework proposed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and before/after data were collected between November 2014 and June 2016. WSPs were associated with infrastructure improvements at the vast majority (82) of participating sites and to increased financial support at 37 sites. In addition, significant changes were observed in operations and management practices, number of water safety-related meetings, unaccounted-for water, water quality testing activities, and monitoring of consumer satisfaction. However, the study also revealed challenges in the implementation of WSPs, including financial constraints and insufficient capacity. Finally, this study provided an opportunity to test the impact assessment methodology itself, and a series of recommendations are made to improve the approach (indicators, study design, data collection methods) for evaluating WSPs.
Climate Resilient Water Safety Strategic Framework Ethiopia
This framework provides the strategic blueprint to develop a climate orientated risk assessment and management approach for drinking-water supplies, from catchment to consumer.
Considered global best practice, WHO advocates for the WSP approach as the most consistent means to ensure the safe and reliable supply of safe drinking-water. Adapted to the Ethiopian context, this document outlines a roadmap for the national scale-up of climate resilient WSPs.
Sustainability of Water Safety Plans Developed in Sub-Saharan Africa
The WSP approach was elaborated within two cooperation projects implemented in rural areas of Burkina Faso and Senegal by two Italian NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations). In order to evaluate its sustainability, a questionnaire based on five different sustainability elements and a cost and time consumption evaluation were carried out and applied in both the case studies. Results demonstrated that the questionnaire can provide a useful and interesting overview regarding the sustainability of the WSP; however, further surveys in the field are recommended for gathering more information. Time and costs related to the WSP elaboration, implementation, and management were demonstrated not to be negligible and above all strongly dependent on water quality and the water supply system complexity.
Bangladesh: Water safety plan
Under AusAid funding, WHO supported WSP implementation in 10 urban systems in Bangladesh. This case study reports on WSP facts, and provides a description of the status of urban and rural water supply in Bangladesh.
Water Quality application of composite correction in India
This case study describes the study of the Composite Correction Programme (CCP) in three different cities in India to prepare for the implementation of Water Safety Plans. CCP is a water treatment plant optimization program that improves water treatment operation with limited capital investment by optimizing particle removal from water treatment plants.
Benefits of Water Safety Plans: Microbiology, Compliance, and Public Health
The article describes an Icelandic study to determine the impact of WSP implementation on regulatory compliance, microbiological water quality, and incidence of clinical cases of diarrhea.
Water Safety Plan for Edfina Drinking Water Supply System, Behira Governorate – Egypt
Edfina Drinking Water Treatment Plant was installed at Behira governorate, Egypt in 1998 and, due to increasing of water demand, the water authority intends to increase its capacity by installing a new conventional water treatment plant. However, water resources are suffering from many illegal activities in the catchment which deteriorate the raw water quality. The water higher community took the decision to develop a WSP for Edfina supply system with the Holding Company in coordination with other water stakeholders (including the Irrigation ministry, Environmental ministry, Health Minisry, NGOs....). This document is the first version of the WSP and is shared as an example of a WSP approach adopted in Egypt.
Philippines: Water safety plan
Under AusAid funding, WHO supported WSP implementation in the Philippines. This case study reports on key WSP facts, and describes the status of water supply in the Philippines
Development and implementation of water safety plans in Iran
This presentation describes the development and implementation of WSP in Tabriz in Iran under the guidance of the World Health Organization Regional Office.
How to prepare Water Safety Plans for community-managed water supply systems in rural Nepal – Nepali
This package has been developed for WaSH practitioners seeking to develop water (probably more correctly, WaSH) safety plans with rural communities who manage their own water and sanitation systems. Although the overall guide is in English, all of the resources to be used with the community are in Nepali.
Lessons learned from practical CR WSP implementation and auditing in Africa and Asia.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) have a significant impact on health and, of particular concern as described in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Extreme Events, are the risks of more frequent and intense extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and droughts, alongside increasing temperatures. Such extremes pose particular challenges to the capacity of WASH programmes to protect health, and there is accumulating evidence that climate change is worsening these risks.
A national programme of water safety plan (WSP) auditing was undertaken in 2018/19 with a particular focus on climate resilience, to learn lessons from the pilot WSPs and adapt the programme in advance of future scale-up.
WSSP compendium – Developing a water & sanitation safety plan in a rural community
A Water and Sanitation Safety Plan (WSSP) is an efficient methodology to manage drinking water and sanitation safely and is based on the Water Safety Plan and Sanitation Safety Plan approach by WHO. This WSSP Compendium aims to enable communities to develop a WSSP for small-scale water supplies, e.g. dug wells, boreholes, springs and piped centralised water supply systems, and as well as to assess the quality of sanitation facilities such as school toilets.
Guidelines for using Web-Enabled Water Safety Plan Tool
The Water Research Commission (WRC) project K5/1993//3 “Web enablement of a water safety plan and incorporation of existing similar supply system assessment tool” aimed to establish a methodology to identify and manage the risks of water services infrastructure and the means by which Water Services Institutions (WSIs) are better able to identify and manage these through use of Water Safety Planning. The tool assists in developing a Water Safety Plan. Implementation thereof (e.g. taking required actions, implementing corrective actions, developing and implementing management and communication procedures) of the Water Safety Plan depends on the Water Services Institution (WSI).
How current risk assessment and risk management methods for drinking water in The Netherlands cover the WHO water safety plan approach
In the Netherlands, safe and sufficient drinking water is provided to the general population by ten drinking water companies. To guarantee safe drinking water the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a Water Safety Plan (WSP), a Risk Assessment and a Risk Management (RA/RM) framework. The objective of the study was to
identify legally required RA approaches, to document application of RA/RM activities at Dutch drinking water companies and to determine to what extent these RA/RM activities as a whole cover all the elements of the WHO WSP approach. This study could be of interest to both managers of large water utilities and decision makers.
The assessment was performed by means of a policy review and interviews with two to four staff members involved in RA/RM from all ten Dutch drinking water companies combined with a joint workshop. The drinking water companies are well aware of the potential hazards and risks that can influence the drinking water quality. To guarantee the supply of safe and sufficient drinking water, the Dutch drinking water sector uses six different legally required RA/RM approaches. This study shows that by using the six legally required RA/RM approaches, all WSP steps are covered. WSP entails a generic risk assessment for identifying all hazards and hazardous events from source to tap, whereas the six legally required RA/RM each focus on specific risks at an advanced level.
Each risk assessment provides information on specific hazards and hazardous events covering a part of the water supply chain. These legal requirements are complemented with additional RA/RM activities at sector and water company level such as codes of practices and standard operating procedures. The outcomes of all RA/RM approaches combined provide information from source to tap. When using multiple RA/RM approaches, it is crucial to share and combine information derived from the different activities.
Training workbook on Water Safety Planning Urban systems
The objective of this workbook is to serve as a guide to facilitate WSP development for an organised water supply that is managed by a water utility or similar entity. WSPs can be tailored differently for each specific water supply system. This workbook is generic and is not specific to any particular country. It is anticipated that trainers in each country would develop their own WSP training material which would be linked directly to country drinking water standards and implementing guidelines as well as bring written in other appropriate languages.
GUIDELINES ON WATER SAFETY INVESTMENT PLAN (WSIP) FOR APPLICATION IN IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER SAFETY PLAN PHASE 3 IN VIETNAM
Water supply companies may face challenges when developing an investment plan for implementation of WSPs, due to the relatively large number of objectives with limited available budget for funding. This draft publication aims to provide guidance for water service companies to develop an investment plan that can meet the most of basic requirements of a WSP in a most cost-effective manner.
This draft publication is currently under review, and we would welcome your feedback to WSPortal@iwahq.org.
The development of a generic Water Safety Plan for small community water supply
This case study describes the development of Water Safety Plans in small community water supplies in South Africa. It describes the previous assessment methods as well as the eleven steps taken to develop and implement the WSP.
Das Water-Safety-Plan-Konzept: Ein Handbuch für kleine Wasserversorgungen (The WSP concept: a manual for small water supplies)
The German Environment Agency and the Water Technology Centre published a manual for implementation of the WSP approach in small-scale water supplies in Germany in 2014, which complements the technical rule on WSPs of the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) with practical explanations, recommendations, examples and supporting tools.
South Africa The development of a generic water safety plan for small community water supply
This document describes development of a Water Safety Plan with a background focus on Africa.
WSP quality assurance tool
Tool developed to support the development and implementation of WSPs, systematically highlighting the areas where progress is being made and opportunities for improvement.
Protecting surface water for health: Editable checklists and tables to support catchment inspection
Protecting surface water for health provides a structured approach to understanding surface waters and their catchments to support the identification, assessment and prioritization of the risks, and the development of management strategies for their control, as a basis for providing safe drinking-water.
Editable versions of the catchment and pollution assessment checklists and inventory tables that are presented in the book to support surface-water catchment inspection are presented here. Please refer to the introductory pages of Section 3.2 of Protecting surface water for health for guidance on how to use these checklists and tables to perform a catchment assessment (http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/pswh/en/).
Operational Monitoring Plan Development: A guide to strengthening operational monitoring practices in small- to medium-sized water supplies
Practical guidance and training materials for small- and medium-sized water suppliers, and for those providing training and support to these suppliers, on strengthening operational monitoring practices – a core element of water safety planning. Training materials include a facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slides.
Global status report on water safety plans: A review of proactive risk assessment and risk management practices to ensure the safety of drinking-water
Based on information gathered from 118 countries representing every region of the globe, this report provides a picture of WSP uptake worldwide. It presents information on WSP implementation and the integration of WSPs into the policy environment. It also explores WSP benefits, challenges and future priorities.
It is envisaged that this report will serve as a useful resource for policy-makers, practitioners and other stakeholders to inform and strengthen the planning and practice of WSP implementation.
Rural Water Safety Plan (RWSP) Facilitator’s Guide
The facilitator‟s guide for the Rural Water Safety Plan Workshop has been prepared based on the Water Safety Planning for Small Community Water Supplies adapted to the Bhutanese context. This manual will describe how rural communities can deliver and sustain safe drinking water by developing and implementing WSPs for their own communities.
WSP implementation and lessons learned: Amarapuri Water Supply
This case study describes the benefits, challenges, and lessons learned from WSP implementation in the Amarapuri Water Supply System, Nepal.
Capacity building and training approaches for water safety plans: A comprehensive literature review.
The World Health Organization has recommended Water Safety Plans (WSPs), a holistic risk assessment and risk management approach, for drinking-water suppliers across low-, middle- and high-income countries, since publishing its 2004 Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality. While rapid WSP adoption has occurred, capacity is still catching up to implementation needs. Many countries and regions lack case examples, legal requirements, and training resources for WSPs, corresponding to widespread capacity shortfall in the water supply sector. We undertook a comprehensive review of the literature on capacity building and training for WSPs, with the goal of providing recommendations for multiple stakeholder groups at the scales of individual utilities, national governments, and intermediate units of governance. We propose a WSP training taxonomy and discuss it in relation to the stages of learning (introduction, practice, and reinforcement); describe the importance of customizing training to the target group, local language and circumstances; highlight the relevance of auditing for evaluating change over time; and call for robust methods to monitor WSP capacity development.
CLIMATE RESILIENT WATER SAFETY PLAN IMPLEMENTATION – Guidelines for Community Managed Rural Drinking Water Supplies
The purpose of these Ethiopian guidelines is to provide step-by-step guidance to the rural community/board managed water supplies on how to develop, implement, monitor, and review the rural community managed water safety plans aimed at protecting human health. Furthermore, it serves as a practical tool in identifying and addressing priority risks to the water quality and quantity, reliability and sustainability of the rural water supply system including risks related to current and future impacts of climate changes by taking into consideration available resources and capacities of the water supply system.
Water quality, compliance, and health outcomes among utilities implementing Water Safety Plans in France and Spain
Water Safety Plans (WSPs), recommended by the World Health Organization since 2004, seek to proactively identify potential risks to drinking water supplies and implement preventive barriers that improve safety. To evaluate the outcomes of WSP application in large drinking water systems in France and Spain, we undertook analysis of water quality and compliance indicators between 2003 and 2015, in conjunction with an observational retrospective cohort study of acute gastroenteritis incidence, before and after WSPs were implemented at five locations. Measured water quality indicators included bacteria (E. coli, fecal streptococci, total coliform, heterotrophic plate count), disinfectants (residual free and total chlorine), disinfection by-products (trihalomethanes, bromate), aluminum, pH, turbidity, and total organic carbon, comprising about 240K manual samples and 1.2M automated sensor readings. We used multiple, Poisson, or Tobit regression models to evaluate water quality before and after the WSP intervention. The compliance assessment analyzed exceedances of regulated, recommended, or operational water quality thresholds using chi-squared or Fisher’s exact tests. Poisson regression was used to examine acute gastroenteritis incidence rates in WSP-affected drinking water service areas relative to a comparison area. Implementation of a WSP generally resulted in unchanged or improved water quality, while compliance improved at most locations. Evidence for reduced acute gastroenteritis incidence following WSP implementation was found at only one of the three locations examined. Outcomes of WSPs should be expected to vary across large water utilities in developed nations, as the intervention itself is adapted to the needs of each location. The approach may translate to diverse water quality, compliance, and health outcomes.
(Final report at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.02.004)
Legionella spp. Risk Assessment in Recreational and Garden Areas of Hotels
Several Travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease (TALD) cases occur annually in Europe. Except from the most obvious sites (cooling towers and hot water systems), infections can also be associated with recreational, water feature, and garden areas of hotels. This argument is of great interest to better comprehend the colonization and to calculate the risk to human health of these sites. From July 2000–November 2017, the public health authorities of the Island of Crete (Greece) inspected 119 hotels associated with TALD, as reported through the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network. Five hundred and eighteen samples were collected from decorative fountain ponds, showers near pools and spas, swimming pools, spa pools, garden sprinklers, drip irrigation systems (reclaimed water) and soil. Of those, 67 (12.93%), originating from 43 (35.83%) hotels, tested positive for Legionella (Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 and non-pneumophila species (L. anisa, L. erythra, L. taurinensis, L. birminghamensis, L. rubrilucens). A Relative Risk (R.R.) > 1 (p < 0.0001) was calculated for chlorine concentrations of less than 0.2 mg/L (R.R.: 54.78), star classification (<4) (R.R.: 4.75) and absence of Water Safety Plan implementation (R.R.: 3.96). High risk (≥104 CFU/L) was estimated for pool showers (16.42%), garden sprinklers (7.46%) and pool water (5.97%).