Water sanitation hygiene

Water safety planning

A group of men screening and annotating plans
WHO/RM McKeown

The WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality recommend water safety plans (WSPs) as the most effective means of consistently ensuring the safety and acceptability of a drinking-water supply.

WSPs require a risk assessment including all steps in water supply from catchment to consumer, followed by implementation and monitoring of risk management control measures, with a focus on high priority risks. Where risks cannot be immediately addressed, the WSP approach allows for incremental improvements to be implemented systematically over time. WSPs should be implemented within a public health context, responding to clear health-based targets and quality-checked through independent surveillance.

WSPs are adaptable to all types and sizes of water supply, and can be effectively applied in all socioeconomic settings. The water safety planning approach is increasingly being adopted globally as best practice for the provision of safe drinking-water.

See also