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Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2013  |  doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.001

Awareness, adoption and implementation of the water safety plan methodology: insights from five Latin American and Caribbean experiences

Brian Hubbard, Richard Gelting, Maria del Carmen Portillo, Tom Williams and Ricardo Torres

Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Services Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, MS F-60, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA E-mail: bhubbard@cdc.gov
Past Regional Coordinator, International Water Association, Latin American and Caribbean Office, Lima, Peru
International Water Association, Den Haag Office, Koningin Julianaplein 2–7th floor, 2595 AA The Hague, The Netherlands
Pan American Health Organization, Calle Victor Sanjinez No. 2678, Edificio Torre Barcelona Pisos 1, 6 and 7, Zona Sopocachi, La Paz, Bolivia

First received 21 December 2012; accepted in revised form 15 April 2013. Available online 8 June 2013


Considerable effort has been made worldwide to disseminate information and provide technical assistance to encourage the adoption and implementation of the water safety plan (WSP) methodology. Described since the third edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, a WSP provides guidance for water utilities to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water and protect health. Attention is now being given to understand the success of efforts to advance adoption of the WSP methodology in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. More specifically, there is interest in knowing how early adopters developed strategies to implement the WSP methodology and what challenges exist for further implementation. To better understand adoption and implementation trends, key informants from five LAC countries were interviewed and case studies were developed to reveal the diversity of WSP approaches applied in the region. Results indicate that WSP implementation is more widespread than previously reported. Respondents affirmed that the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality are routinely used as a model for country-level drinking-water regulations, which has led to uptake of the WSP methodology. Interview respondents also revealed innovative national strategic approaches for WSP implementation.

Keywords: drinking-water regulations; Latin America and Caribbean; preventive risk management; public health; water safety plans; water supply operations and management

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