Policy, and

We are problem solvers focused on the sustainable management of water for health and human development. We contribute to improving access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.

News Briefs

Water Microbiology Conference

The Water Institute at UNC, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, is hosting the Water Microbiology Conference on May 18-22, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA. The Conference will create a forum for researchers and practitioners focused on microbiology and public health. You can view information about this year’s themes and registration here.

WASH Performance Index

Please join us for a special webcast on Friday, May 8 at 10 AM EST. Catarina de Albuquerque, Vice Chair of Sanitation and Water for All and former special rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, will offer remarks as we launch our WASH Performance Index. We will host an open discussion locally and via webcast, accessible at:

News To Your Inbox

Our newsletter offers up-to-date information about The Water Institute at UNC as well as relevant news briefs from around the globe. The latest issue highlights the California drought, the threat of insecticides to aquatic ecosystems, our upcoming Water Microbiology and Water and Health Conferences, new publications and the launch of our WASH Performance Index. To subscribe to our newsletter, please click here.

Aveda Institute Chapel Hill Partnership

From March through May, the Aveda Institute of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA is partnering with The Water Institute at UNC to raise awareness of the plight of millions of people worldwide who fight daily for the basic human right to safe water. The Aveda Institute Chapel Hill is inspiring its network to learn more about the global water challenge and to give to the Water Institute at UNC.

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Featured Publications

New Report on WASH in Health Facilities

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are essential to health service delivery and improving quality of care. In a new World Health Organization and UNICEF report, the Water Institute at UNC assessed the status of WASH in health care facilities in 54 low- and middle-income countries and found 38% lack an improved water source, 19% lack improved sanitation, and 35% lack soap for hand washing. Countries with a national plan for WASH in health care generally had higher coverage. Improving service levels requires health sector leadership, technical inputs from the WASH sector, and political commitment. More >

How to Monitor Global Equity in Access

Successful implementation of the human right to water and sanitation can be guided by accountability frameworks and indicators. To examine the translation of data to indicators, The Water Institute and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosted a workshop at the 2011 Water and Health Conference. In JWaSHDev, we recount workshop discussions, highlighting the need for globally comparable indicators that use practical measures of water quality, reflect the complexities of affordability, measure reliability, and monitor progress among marginalized groups.

Non-Household Monitoring

Expanding WASH coverage and monitoring in non-household settings is an important post-2015 development objective. In the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, we reviewed the status of non-household monitoring and developed a typology of non-household settings. We found most actors focus on monitoring WASH in schools and health facilities with less attention on settings such as markets and workplaces. To achieve robust national and international monitoring, action must be taken to set guidelines, build national capacity, and translate data into actionable evidence.

Water Safety in the USA

Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are a preventive approach for delivering safe drinking water and health benefits, based on systematic evidence from Iceland. To date, however, United States (US) authorities have not widely adopted WSPs. In the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, we examine the added value of WSPs in comparison with US drinking water regulations. While fairly well-aligned, gaps exist in team formation and training, risk management, and management procedures and plans. We conclude WSP implementation by US authorities could close the gaps and improve water quality and human health.

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