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Water Safety Plan

Water Safety Plan (WSP) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that encompasses all steps in water supply from catchment to consumer”1 to ensure safe drinking-water. It is described in the WHO’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (GDWQ) as the “most effective means of consistently ensuring the safety of a drinking-water supply (footnote 1).” It is implemented as a series of steps that are revisited periodically, as illustrated



Objective:

The objective of promoting WSPs is to broaden the emphasis of water quality management to include operations and management of water supplies.


WSPs are locally tailored to respond to factors such as

1. Estimated contamination levels and risks for a specific system;

2. Expectations of investors and clients;

3. Willingness or ability to recover costs from the community

4. Expectations of water quality standards including health and, possibly, acceptability aspects.


Brutal truth about present Water Supply System in terms of Water Safety & Security

Safety: In urban water supply system, India contains such ULBs where water supply is generally for on average 6 hrs. – 8 hrs. / Per day basis, that means we are in a country of intermittent supply. Now we know, in any intermittent supply QUALITY is of course compromised. In most of the cases, water supply networks and sewer networks are layed in same alignment and as a result, when any leakage occurs in water network pipe line, in supply hour, water lose through leak and in non-supply hours, contaminated water/ sewer water enters in the pipe line from that particular leakage and be stagnant. And when again supply starts, treated water mixed up with that contaminated water and reached at the customer end.


Now, we identify two problems in a single platform-

a) Age old pipe line & infrastructure,

b) Insufficient water to deliver 24x7 basis to encounter the mentioned problem


Which option one should be initiated?

24x7 water supply in one hand indeed provides a beneficial water service to the consumers but on the other hand, it causes more water loss (man-maid + leakage originated) than intermittent supply. And we are not in a position to waste water but to save water for future and use the quantity exactly we required for livelihood.


Hence, I must say, we should encounter the other option, i.e. AGE OLD PIPEL LINE & INFRASTRUCTURE. I think, in urban water supply system, apart from daily monitoring of water quality in distribution system and treatment plant, if we don’t initiated to improve the underground infrastructure i.e. 1) replacing pipe lines network, 2) pressure management tools, 3) Schedule active leak detection problem, 4) GIS mapping and integrate quality management system with it, 5) Segregation of small water pockets/zones/boundaries/ DMAs and so on to control water loss and detect un-reported leaks as soon as possible etc. Any water supply system has to compromise their water quality at the consumer end due to un-equal water supply system mainly.

It is very glad to see that, India is gradually being conscious about replacing water infrastructures to improve water supply system, but the velocity of moving should little high in a huge populated country like India.


Security: Still Indian citizen don’t have sufficient awareness to use of treated water in proper way. ULBs should educate local public about ‘use of water’, ‘Ways to save water at home’. Generally we compare even serious natural resources like water, petrol etc. with our ability to buy it. Where, we must realize that, we should use it gently and save it for recent future. Because, the day is not far, when we are going to have serious treated water issues in India.

But on the other hand,


Ground Water:

India is a groundwater economy. At 260 cubic km per year, our country is the highest user of groundwater in the world - we use 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of USA and China.

When we think of water however, our brains have been programmed to think of large dams and rivers, and not wells. This, despite the fact that India has at least four crore irrigation wells and millions of farmers who use well water in agriculture.

India was not the highest extractor of groundwater in the 1960s and 70s; the Green Revolution changed that. At independence the share of groundwater in agriculture was 35 percent; today it is a startling 70 percent.


Adoption:

The management of water safety through WSPs (or equivalent) is increasingly being formalized globally as an obligation or strongly promoted good practice for urban water supplies. In a recent WSP implementation progress report, it was noted that “92 countries, representing every region of the world, have implemented WSPs or equivalent risk assessment and risk management approaches.”


Influence of WSP:

Direct influence

1. Drinking-water infrastructure projects, such as water reticulation networks or water treatment plants

2. Water resources infrastructure projects, of which one of the intended beneficial uses is subsequent drinking-water supply


• Indirect influence of Water Safety Plan

1. Projects that draw water from drinking-water sources (dams, weirs, reservoirs, and rivers), or add water to drinking-water sources, and as a result change the flow of rivers or the level of water in water storages (such as agricultural use and irrigation)

2. Projects that either pollute or clean up drinking-water sources, such as environmental remediation projects or infrastructure investments relating to mining or industry

3. Projects that provide basic infrastructure that in turn facilitate improvements in water supply and quality, such as power infrastructure investments.



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