Risk management and safety planning

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Sector Resources Technical topics Risk management and safety planning



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World Health Organization

Water Safety Planning for Small Community Water Supplies

The principles and practice of water safety planning are increasingly being adopted around the world as the basis for the provision of safe and clean drinking-water. This process is most pronounced in urban conglomerates where the institutional infrastructure of municipal corporations, parastatal enterprises or private utilities is conducive to their adoption.
Water safety planning has a number of unique characteristics. One of these is its adaptability to different socioeconomic settings. Another is its capacity to be effectively applied at different levels and scales.
A considerable number of people in today’s world have to rely on small community water supplies for their everyday basic needs, both in industrialized and in less developed countries. These communities, often in remote places, tend to lack capacities for essential management, operation and maintenance, and implementation of technical improvements.

Water safety plans provide a reliable framework for such communities to strengthen their capacities and capabilities with
a focus on cost-effective management of their water supplies. The present guidance document puts water safety planning in the context of small community water supplies and provides a step-by-step approach for those charged with dealing with the everyday realities of maintaining a reliable, safe supply. It addresses members of small communities themselves, in addition to those supporting them in their endeavours to bring safe and clean water collectively to millions of people.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 09 February 2017

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Global status report on water safety plans

Water safety planning is a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that is widely recognized as the most reliable and effective way to manage drinking-water supplies to safeguard public health.

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.

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, , 30 June 2017

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 29 June 2017

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Manual or training material


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World Health Organization / International Water Association

Water Safety Plan Manual: step-by-step risk management for drinking-water suppliers

The aim of this Manual is to provide practical guidance to facilitate Water Safety Plans development focusing particularly on organized water supplies managed by a water utility or similar entity.

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Contributed by David Michaud on 15 April 2016

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