Providing practical guidance for safe drinking water

The International Water Association (IWA) and the 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. The launch of the Water Safety Plan Manual, 2nd Edition was marked through an online webinar co-hosted by IWA and WHO, bringing together experts and stakeholders from around the globe to discuss the importance of water safety planning and the experience gained with more than 10 years of practical implementation.

The manual is intended for water suppliers and organizations 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 organizations. It provides a broad range of examples and case studies from low- through to high-income settings, highlighting practical solutions to real-world challenges from around the globe to help readers apply the guidance in diverse contexts.

The manual covers various 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 and new guidance to address emerging challenges in the water sector, such as climate change, equity, and resilience.

“We are excited to release this updated Water Safety Plan Manual, which provides practical guidance and case studies to support the development and implementation of water safety planning in diverse contexts,” said Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the International Water Association. 

He added: “This updated edition is an important resource for water suppliers and organizations 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, and as we accelerate progress on achieving SDG 6.1, this second edition will better support practitioners to provide more resilient and safer drinking water services to safeguard the health of all users.”