Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are a risk management approach recommended by the World Health Organization for all water suppliers to help prevent drinking water contamination. They function by identifying process control steps from catchment to consumer, where monitoring can be performed to ensure a safe product.
Universal and equitable access to safely managed drinking water supplies is a central focus of SDG targets 6.1 and 6.5 . While WSPs have been adopted in more than 90 countries globally, the evidence base continues to build regarding when, where, why, and how they function.
Our research explores the health and other benefits of WSPs to inform policy and practice. Applied studies help to improve evaluation methods, implementation capacity, evidence for decision making, and scale-up into new contexts.
The Water Institute periodically offers a distance-learning course on water safety planning, which describes the steps and tools needed to implement a WSP, as well as case studies, assessments, and examples of impacts.
Water Institute Researchers
- Jamie Bartram – Principal Investigator
- Karen Setty – Lead Researcher
- Webinar: Water Safety Plans
- A systematic literature review of the enabling environment elements to improve implementation of water safety plans in high-income countries (2018)
- Assessing operational performance benefits of a Water Safety Plan implemented in southwestern France. Karen Setty, G O’Flaherty, J Enault, S Lapouge, JF Loret, and J Bartram. 2018. Perspectives in Public Health, Volume 138, Issue 5: 270-278. doi: 10.1177/1757913918787846.
- Time series study of weather, water quality, and acute gastroenteritis at Water Safety Plan implementation sites in France and Spain. Karen Setty, J Enault, JF Loret, CP Serra, JM Alonso, and J Bartram. 2018. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Volume 221, Issue 4: 714-726. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.04.001.
- Water quality, performance, and health outcomes among utilities implementing Water Safety Plans in France and Spain. Karen Setty, G Kayser, JM Bowling, JF Loret, J Enault, CP Serra, JM Alonso, AP Mateu, and J Bartram. 2017. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Volume 220, Issue 3: 513-530. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.02.004.
- Assessing the costs and benefits of Water Safety Plans. Loret, J.F., Thé, C.B. de, Alonso, J.M., Serra, C.P., Kayser, G., Bartram, J. 2016. Water Safety Portal (wsportal.org).
- The Flint Water Crisis Confirms That U.S. Drinking Water Needs Improved Risk Management (2016)
- Water safety plans: Bridges and barriers to implementation in North Carolina (2016)
- An examination of the potential added value of water safety plans to the United States national drinking water legislation (2015)