This manual is designed to engage, empower and guide communities in the development and implementation of water
safety plans (WSPs) for their drinking-water systems. It provides guidance on how to apply effective and achievable
management actions in order to improve the safety and quality of supplied water. Relevant to all community-managed
systems, it is applicable to piped schemes, point sources such as hand pumps, protected springs or household rainwater
harvesting systems and other sources. The guidance provided is valid for both new and existing schemes.
The manual is complemented by the World Health Organization s (WHO) Guidelines for drinking-water quality
(WHO, 2011a), which describe the principles of the WSP approach, and the Water safety plan manual: step-by-step
risk management for drinking-water suppliers (Bartram et al., 2009), a practical guide to developing WSPs for larger
water supplies managed by a water utility or similar entity. Tools (e.g. sanitary inspection forms) included in Volume 3
of the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality, entitled Surveillance and control of small community supplies (WHO,
1997), will also be a useful resource for small community water supplies throughout the WSP development and
This manual will also be useful for those with drinking-water and health-related responsibilities working at a national
level to guide the development of policies and programmes to improve the management of small community water
supplies. Finally, it will also be helpful to members of the small community water supply themselves, as water supply
operators and caretakers will be key players in the WSP development and implementation process.