Generic Framework for Integrated Risk Management in Water Safety Plans
In the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, the World Health Organisation (WHO) concludes that end-product testing is not sufficient to guarantee safe drinking water to consumers. Such analyses are often completed after the water is consumed and they may not provide correct information regarding the health effects of the water. Instead, WHO recommends preparation of risk-based Water Safety Plans (WSP) from ‘source to tap’, which considers conditions in source waters, treatment systems and distribution networks. WSP is currently being implemented in several countries and is expected to become increasingly important for water management in both developed and developing countries. WSPs facilitate an increase in awareness and understanding of risk issues fundamental for providing safe drinking water. WHO provides general but not detailed information on risk assessment and risk management procedures in WSPs. The primary purpose of this paper is to describe a framework for a structured risk management in WSPs. The framework is currently being developed within the European Commission Sixth Framework Programme project TECHNEAU (Technology Enabled Universal Access to Safe Water). The suggested framework cannot provide one single risk management method applicable to all types of water utilities. Instead, the framework will provide: (1) principles for good risk management practice; (2) a relevant set of tools; and (3) clear examples. This paper includes: (1) a short review and presentation of WSP; (2) a presentation of the current version of the TECHNEAU Generic Framework for Integrated Risk Management in WSP; and (3) a short description of some risk analysis methods currently being developed in the project.