Extending the water safety plan concept to the urban water cycle

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The urban water cycle (UWC) is often managed by several stakeholders dealing with specific components of the cycle such as water supply, wastewater systems and water bodies management. Therefore, risk management in the UWC benefits from an integrated approach to incorporate the interdependencies between elements. The water cycle safety plan (WCSP) provides a common risk management framework for stakeholders in the UWC. It is based on the water safety plan (WSP) approach for water supply and incorporates the latest developments in risk management approaches, such as ISO 31 000:2009 and ISO Guide 73:2009. Apart from protection of public health, the WCSP also addresses public safety and protection of the environment. The proposed WCSP is divided into nine steps including stakeholders’ commitment and team assembling, establishment of scope of the plan, characterisation of water systems, identification of risks, risk analysis and evaluation, selection of risk reduction measures, development of protocols for communication, monitoring and review. The WCSP approach was developed in the PREPARED project with a focus on UWC adaptation to climate change but can be applied in a broader context. This preventive and systematic risk approach supports decisions on adaptive measures and strategies for the whole UWC based on the best available knowledge.

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