New water safety plan manual by IWA and WHO to provide guidance for safe drinking water

The non-profit organisation International Water Association (IWA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have released the second edition of the water safety plan manual, which offers practical guidance for the development and implementation of water safety planning in accordance with WHO guidelines for drinking water quality. This second edition launch was marked through an online webinar co-hosted by IWA and WHO, bringing together experts with experience of more than 10 years of practical implementation and stakeholders from around the globe to discuss the importance of water safety planning.

The manual is intended for water suppliers and organisations supporting water safety planning programmes, including government agencies responsible for public health, regulation, and surveillance of drinking water quality, as well as non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations. It provides a range of case studies from low- to high-income settings, highlighting solutions to real-world challenges to help readers apply the guidance in diverse contexts.

The manual covers aspects of water safety planning, including risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. It also provides guidance on the development of monitoring programmes, contingency planning, and documentation of water safety plans. The second edition of the manual includes updates to address emerging challenges in the water sector, such as climate change, equity, and resilience.

Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA’s executive director said, “This updated edition is an important resource for water suppliers and organisations worldwide. Equity and climate considerations have been integrated to help ensure more resilient drinking water supply for all.”

“Water safety planning is a central recommendation of WHO’s guidelines for drinking water quality. As we accelerate progress on achieving sustainable development goal six, this second edition will support practitioners to provide more resilient and safer drinking water services to safeguard the health of all,” added Bruce Gordon from WHO, Switzerland.