Given that the use of an "improved" drinking-water source is a not a foolproof perfect guarantee of the water's safety, this handbook was developed to probe into the question, to what extent the quality of drinking-water from "improved" sources deviates from the assumption that it is safe. This handbook describes methods and procedures applied in the Rapid Assessment of Drinking-water Quality (RADWQs) carried out by WHO and UNICEF in five pilot countries -- they can be adopted by any authority or institution that wants to prepare a snapshot of the quality of "improved" sources of drinking-water, as a first step towards strengthening drinking-water quality regulation
- The use of a technology-related proxy-indicator was and to this day continues to be the only way to monitor progress towards the target at a global level through household surveys and censuses.
- RADWQ uses intensive field work to collect one-off water quality and sanitary inspection data focused on the category of Ã¢â‚¬Å“improvedÃ¢â‚¬Â water sources as defined by Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), applying a sampling approach that results in a nationally representative data set.
- The results in five countries showed a wide range of conditions, from full compliance with the guideline values in the WHO Drinking-water Quality Guidelines, to specific sources in a given country only meeting standards in 34 percent of the samples.
- In countries that implemented the RADWQ, it triggered an enhanced interest and political will to improve national water quality through new or strengthened regulatory frameworks, through allocation of resources to regulatory surveillance and audits, and through the adoption of the WHO-recommended approach of water safety planning.