IWA Publishing

Bonn Charter principles for safe drinking water

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In the mid 1990’s a number of initiatives across the world began to question whether the so called “end of pipe” standard setting approach to protecting drinking water quality was the right way forward for the 21st century.

This discussion began to come together in two main international forums. Firstly the massive task of updating the highly influential 3rd revision of the WHO guidelines on Drinking-water Quality, and in parallel, development of “The Bonn Charter for Safe Drinking Water”, the later of which was then adopted and published by IWA. Both documents describe a framework for safe-drinking water in which the importance of establishing health-based targets, developing water safety plans and undertaking independent surveillance are emphasised. The joint launch of these two documents in September 2004 marked a critical milestone in the provision of updated worldwide best practice advice on how the global challenge of providing safe drinking water could be met.

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