Water sanitation hygiene

Radical increase in water and sanitation investment required to meet development targets

13 April 2017 | GENEVA — Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new report published by the WHO on behalf of UN-Water.
The report stresses that countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding.

Water and sanitation for health facility improvement tool (WASH FIT)

WASH FIT is a risk-based, continuous improvement framework with a set of tools for undertaking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) improvements as part of wider quality improvements in health care facilities. It is aimed at small primary, and in some instances secondary, health care facilities in low and middle income countries. WASH FIT is an adaptation of the water safety plan (WSP) approach, which is recommended in the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality as the most effective way of ensuring continuous provision of safe drinking-water.

Kolkata's fishermen and farmers reuse what’s flushed down the toilet

22 MARCH 2017 – Most people don’t think about what happens to their excreta when they flush the toilet or pour water down the latrine. But, for fisherman and farmers in Kolkata, India, excreta provides a natural fertilizer for their crops, food for their fish and an income to provide for their families. "The challenge now is ensuring wastewater is treated and reused safely", says Payden, sanitation engineer at WHO South-East Asia Regional Office.

World Water Day 2017: Why waste water

Safe treatment and use of wastewater is fundamental to protecting public health.
Join the global campaign for World Water Day on 22nd March by downloading a sharing campaign materials and organising an event to highlight SDG 6.3 “…halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe re­use by 2030.”
Learn more from WHO factsheets videos and tools on wastewater and health.

Guidelines for drinking-water quality, fourth edition incorporating the first addendum

WHO’s Guidelines for drinking-water quality (GDWQ) form an authoritative basis for the setting of national regulations and standards for water safety in support of public health.
This first addendum updates the fourth edition of the GDWQ to reflect new evidence and to provide additional explanations to support better understanding and application of the guidance.

Background documents for the development of the Guidelines for drinking-water quality

Water poured from a bottle into a glass
Shuttersrock.com/Science photo

WHO has recently published new or revised background documents for selected chemical hazards in drinking-water, which inform the development of the recently published first addendum to the fourth edition of the WHO’s Guidelines for drinking-water quality.
These chemicals include: barium; bentazone; chlorine dioxide, chlorate and chlorite; dichlorvos; dicofol; diquat; lead; MCPA; nitrate and nitrite; and perchlorate.

Water quality and health - Review of turbidity

Two glasses: one of clear water and the other one of turbid water
Shutterstock.com/Alena Brozova

Intended for regulators and operators of drinking-water supplies, this technical brief provides information on the uses and significance of turbidity in source water and drinking-water.
Information is provided on the implications of turbidity for water safety at each step of the water supply chain, alongside practical guidance on the measurement and monitoring of turbidity in source water and drinking-water.

Preparation of SDG baselines

The 2030 SDG agenda was agreed in 2015 by 193 Member States, and includes an ambitious dedicated Goal 6 for water and sanitation. Eleven indicators are being developed to monitor progress towards the eight SDG 6 targets, and data are being collected to produce baseline estimates. The WHO/UNICEF JMP will produce global monitoring reports for targets 6.1 and 6.2 on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene while WHO with UN-Habitat will monitor target 6.3 on wastewater. The GLAAS initiative will monitor the two ‘Means of Implementation’ indicators 6a and 6b.
See individual pages to learn about contributing data for SDG monitoring.

Protecting surface water for health

Protecting surface water for health provides a structured approach to the assessment and management of drinking-water quality related risks in surface-water catchments. The publication will support the development and application of water safety planning where source-water protection is a key element in the provision of safe drinking-water. Protecting surface water for health embraces the concept put forward by Goal 6 of the SDGs to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, recognizing that the protection of water quality and water-related ecosystems contributes to public health protection.