Assessing operational performance benefits of a Water Safety Plan implemented in Southwestern France
Aims: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended Water Safety Plans (WSPs)
since 2004 as a means to reduce drinking water contamination and risks to human health.
These risk management programs have shown promise across several potential areas of
evaluation, such as economic benefits and regulatory compliance. Since WSPs are largely
carried out by people who interact with water treatment equipment and processes, operational
performance indicators may be key to understanding the mechanisms behind desirable WSP
impacts such as water quality and public health improvement.
Method: This study reports performance measures collected at a WSP implementation
location in southwestern France over several years.
Results: Quantitative assessment of performance measures supported qualitative reports from
utility managers. Results indicate significantly reduced duration of low-chlorine events at one
production facility and a significant decrease in customer complaints related to water quality,
manifesting reported improvements in operational performance and the customer service
Conclusion: The findings demonstrate some success stories and potential areas of future
performance tracking. Cyclical iteration of the WSP can help to achieve continuous quality
improvement. Successfully applied evaluation criteria such as the number of water quality
complaints or alarm resolution time might be useful across other locations.
Strengthening operations & maintenance through water safety planning: A collection of case studies
This document presents case studies from lower and higher income settings around the world that highlight O&M benefits resulting from WSP implementation. These case studies contribute to a growing body of information on the outcomes of water safety planning and may be useful in building support for WSPs among water sector senior managers, operational staff and other stakeholders.
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.
Training Package on Climate Resilient Water Safety Plan (CR-WSP)
This training toolkit aims to support roll-out of climate resilient WSPs in Nepal by capacitating national trainers. The training materials are based on international (WHO) and national (Department of Water Supply & Sanitation) best practices and experiences.
The training toolkit contains a “Facilitators handbook”, “Participants workbook” and presentations, to support the successful and consistent delivery of the national climate resilient WSP training program.
Climate Resilient Water Safety Plans Guideline: Urban Water Supply System
These guidelines have been developed to support urban water supply schemes in Nepal to development and implement climate resilient WSPs.
Climate Resilient Water Safety Plans Guideline: Rural Water Supply System
Based on international best practice and Nepal's Department of Water Supply & Sanitation experiences, these guidelines have been developed to support rural water supply schemes to development and implement an effective climate resilient WSP in rural settings.
Water safety plans in the European region: Promotional video
Small-scale systems are an important component of water supply in the WHO European Region, and Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are regarded the most effective approach to ensuring continuous provision of safe drinking-water.
The above is a short promotional video on WSPs in the WHO European Region.
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.
Time series study of weather, water quality, and acute gastroenteritis at Water Safety Plan implementation sites in France and Spain
Water Safety Plans (WSPs), recommended by the World Health Organization since 2004, can help drinking water suppliers to proactively identify potential risks and implement preventive barriers that improve safety. Few studies have investigated long-term impacts of WSPs, such as changes in drinking water quality or public health; however, some evidence from high-income countries associates WSP implementation with a reduction in diarrheal
disease. To validate the previously observed linkages between WSPs and health outcomes, this time series
study examined site-specific relationships between water-related exposures and acute gastroenteritis rates at three locations in France and Spain, including the role of WSP status. Relationships between control or exposure variables and health outcomes were tested using Poisson regression within generalized additive models. Controls included suspected temporal trends in disease reporting. Exposures included temperature, precipitation, raw water quality, and finished water quality (e.g., turbidity, free chlorine). In France, daily acute gastroenteritis cases were tracked using prescription reimbursements; Spanish data aggregated monthly acute gastroenteritis hospital visits. The models identified several significant relationships between indicators of exposure and acute gastroenteritis. Lag times of 6–9 days (including transit time) were most relevant for hydrological indicators (related to precipitation, runoff, and flow) at the two French sites, indicative of viral pathogens. Flush events (defined as surface runoff after a two-week antecedent dry period) linked to nonpoint source pollution were associated with a 10% increase in acute gastroenteritis rates at one location supplied by surface water. Acute gastroenteritis rates were positively associated with elevated turbidity average or maximum values in finished water at locations supplied by both surface and groundwater, by about 4% per 1-NTU increase in the two-week moving average of daily maxima or about 10% per 0.1 NTU increase in the prior month’s average value. In some
cases, risk appeared to be mitigated by WSP-related treatment interventions. Our results suggest drinking water exposure is associated with some potentially preventable gastrointestinal illness risk in high-income regions.
Water safety plan template including climate considerations for rural water supplies: United Rep. of Tanzania
This water safety plan (WSP) template was developed to support the integration of climate risks into the WSP approach in rural areas of the United Rep. of Tanzania. Examples are presented on how to complete the template, and the information should be considered and customized to the local context.
This template is based on WHO EURO (2014) Water safety plan: a field guide to improving drinking-water safety in small communities, but adapted to the local context.
This resource was developed as part of the Department for International Development (DFID, UK)-funded project on “Building adaptation to climate change in health in least developed countries through resilient WASH” which was implemented from 2013-2018 in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal and Tanzania.
Experiential Learning through Role-Playing: Enhancing Stakeholder Collaboration in Water Safety Plans
Improved water safety management, as addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals, can be aided by Water Safety Planning, a risk-assessment and risk-management approach introduced
by the World Health Organization and implemented to date in 93 countries around the globe. Yet, this approach still encounters some challenges in practice, including that of securing collaboration among the broad range of stakeholders involved. This paper presents a role-playing game designed to foster stakeholder collaboration in Water Safety Plans (WSP). In this role-play, participants take on different stakeholders’ roles during a collective (team-based) decision-making process to improve water supply safety in a fictive town. The game is the result of a transdisciplinary initiative aimed at integrating knowledge across technical and governance aspects of WSPs into an active learning experience for water sector actors from diverse backgrounds. It exposes participants to the four phases of Kolb’s experiential learning cycle: concrete experience, reflective observation, conceptualization and active experimentation. This paper discusses potential impacts of the WSP role-play, including skills and knowledge development among participants, which can support cross-sectoral integration and dealing with complexity in decision-making. These are capacity assets strongly needed to address water safety management challenges in a sustainable way.
Water safety plan template for residential care homes for the elderly
This template is prepared based on recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist the owner or the house management staff of a residential care home for the elderly with an independent internal plumbing system to develop and implement a Water Safety Plan (WSP) to enhance water safety.