December 2020

History of Water Safety Plans

Water safety planning is a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that encompasses all steps in a drinking-water supply chain, from catchment to consumer (WHO 2004). A water safety plan (WSP), coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, applies a history of best management practices to drinking water safety in a systematic and organized manner. It draws on principles and concepts from other risk management approaches, in particular the multiple-barrier approach (a paradigm for ensuring safe drinking water), sanitary inspections, and hazard assessment and critical control points (HACCP) used in the food industry (Godfrey et al. 2005). The WSP approach requires that risks to drinking-water safety are identified, prioritized, and managed before problems occur (WHO 2004). It is widely recognized as the most effective way to manage drinking water supplies for public health (WHO 2011).

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