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TitleWHO releases new guidelines on drinking water quality
Imprint4 July 2011
Call# CLIP 0002

CALL # Volume Number Month Year Barcode Status

AbstractSINGAPORE, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) launched its updated edition of drinking water guidelines here on Monday to push water suppliers to systematically manage the potential risk of contaminants entering water, from the catchment to the consumer. The WHO said the new guidelines, launched at the Singapore International Water Week, can help governments strengthen their management of drinking water quality by adopting water safety planning. "Countries have an opportunity to make substantial public health progress by setting and applying effective and appropriate standards for ensuring safe water," said Maria Neira, WHO director of public environment and health. The guidelines, which have been the most authoritative framework on drinking-water quality and often form the basis for national laws and regulations, requires "a paradigm shift in drinking-water management for many countries," WHO said. "Shifting to a primary prevention approach is more effective, costs less, and gives us the flexibility to deal with new pressures threatening water safety such as climate change, population growth, and urbanization," Neira said. The new guidelines contained comprehensive good practice recommendations for the first time at different levels, from household rainwater harvesting and safe storage through to policy advice on bulk water supply and the implications of climate change. The last edition of the WHO guidelines on drinking water quality was released in 2004. The new edition, updated based on latest scientific evidence, includes hundreds of risk assessments on specific waterborne hazards. It also has specific guidance on emerging contaminants of concern in drinking-water. Such guidance is crucial in addressing widespread concerns over potential human health risks arising from traces of pharmaceuticals detected in drinking-water, the WHO said. "If we look at the most recent waterborne disease outbreaks, both in developing and developed countries, it is clear that most of these could have been prevented through the proactive implementation of Water Safety Plans," said Robert Bos, WHO's coordinator for water, sanitation, hygiene and health. It is estimated that two million people die from waterborne diseases and billions more suffer illness around the world, and most of them are children under five. Much of this is preventable, the WHO said. The new guidelines were launched on Monday at the Singapore International Water Week, an increasingly important industry event that gathers thousands from the government and the industry as well as researchers and investment fund managers. The event has grown to be a must-attend since it was inaugurated four years ago, with the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize named after Singapore's founding prime minister as a key part of the show.
SubjectWHO
drinking water
quality
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