WHO releases guidelines and tools to enhance small water supplies

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  • paresh
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Re: WHO releases guidelines and tools to enhance small water supplies

Sharing Dr. George Wainaina's linkedin post related to the guidelines. 
Here are his six key take-homes from the guidelines:
  1. They acknowledge self-supply as a model which is often overlooked. Difficult but necessary to grapple with.
  2. They present 10 principles for guidance to the successful operation of a small water supply. How general, specific, actionable, and conceptually coherent they are is discussable. But one way or the other, they remain useful to all stakeholders in water supply.
  3. They are clear that the targeted audience will have to contextualize these guidelines in terms of what a small water supply means to them. It was smart not to limit themselves to factors like population served or service connections etc, which vary widely in different contexts.
  4. They summarize state-of-the-art water supply concepts and give guidance for their implementation. These include: (i)enabling environment for water supply and how to assess it, (ii)health-based regulation and how to implement it (iii)water safety planning and how to implement it (iv)Surveillance and how to do it (v) data and data use.  Again, these will need contextualizing.
  5. An additional graphically illustrated annex for sanitary inspection during field visits is provided.  The annex covers: (i)potential sources of contamination (e.g. presence of a latrine close to the water source) (ii) observable contaminant pathways (e.g. inadequate drainage, standing water) (iii)breakdowns in the barriers that prevent contamination (e.g. dug well apron with deep cracks)
  6. They provide 59 case studies globally. I am glad that these include representation from different countries and are not limited to "low-income countries".
In Dr. Wainaina's these guidelines are useful for the target audience and beyond. However, they will need to be widely disseminated for their uptake and contextualization. 

Let us know what you think.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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Re: WHO releases guidelines and tools to enhance small water supplies

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WHO releases guidelines and tools to enhance small water supplies

WHO releases guidelines and tools to enhance small water supplies

Please find below a recent news release from WHO.


Best wishes, Neil

--

15 February 2024
www.who.int/news/item/15-02-2024-who-rel...idelines-and-tools-t o-enhance-small-water-supplies

Today, WHO has released guidelines and tools to improve small water supplies. The newly launched Guidelines for drinking water quality: small water supplies, and associated Sanitary inspection packages, aim to improve water quality, build more resilient service delivery, and combat disease surges in vulnerable and resource-constrained communities. [1]

"Investing in small water supplies serves as a dual strategy: to effectively reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases as well as lower the overall expenses related to the prevention of illness and associated health care costs," said Dr Maria Neira, Director, WHO's Environment, Climate Change and Health Department. "Small supplies are especially susceptible to the impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity, adding urgency in our efforts to reach everyone with safely managed drinking-water."

Although important progress has been made, 2.2 billion people still lacked access to safely managed drinking-water in 2022,[2] the majority of whom live in rural areas, which are commonly served by small water supplies. Small water supplies often experience technical and resourcing challenges that impact their ability to deliver safe and reliable services. They are therefore more likely to experience deficiencies related to water safety, leading to water-related illnesses and adverse social and economic impacts. To overcome these challenges, small water supplies should be explicitly considered in policies and regulations.

Building on WHO's framework for safe drinking-water,[3] the Guidelines provide six state-of-the-art recommendations on establishing drinking-water quality regulations and standards that are health based and context appropriate; on proactively managing risks through water safety planning and sanitary inspections; and on carrying out independent surveillance. These recommendations are derived from a comprehensive evidence review and proven best practices, and they are anchored in ten cross-cutting principles, such as prioritizing public health, adopting a risk-based approach and targeting progressive improvement.

Governments and other stakeholders worldwide are encouraged to adopt these recommendations to address small water supplies more effectively in policies, regulations and support programmes.

"Political will, risk-based regulation and increased investment have proven effective in scaling up access to safe drinking-water through small supplies," said Bruce Gordon, Head of WHO's Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Unit. "The Guidelines will further support and enhance the efforts of stakeholders at all levels to enhance the safety and sustainability of small water supplies."

Building on WHO's 60-year history of shaping drinking-water quality standards, these publications aim to support and guide achievement of Sustainable Development Goal target 6.1, which focuses on safely managed drinking-water for everyone, everywhere, by 2030.

--
Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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