Despite a good legislative framework, South Africa faces significant challenges in the sustainable provision of adequate and safe water services. To improve the situation, South Africa's Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and other water sector partners undertook initiatives to assist municipalities with operation and management of water services. By way of example, in 2006, the municipal engineering oriented electronic Water Quality Management System (eWQMS) was implemented, providing municipalities with a platform for loading drinking water quality data and tracking performance of key water services management functions. Following this in 2008, DWA introduced an incentive-based regulatory programme, Blue Drop Certification (BDC), and the associated regulatory drinking water quality information system, the Blue Drop System (BDS) which is, for example, populated with data loaded by municipalities onto eWQMS. An integral part of BDC is the development of Water Safety Plans (WSPs). Due to the challenges faced by municipalities in developing WSPs, the Water Research Commission (WRC) saw a need to assist municipalities, and subsequently a generic Water Safety Plan for Small Community Water Supplies was developed. The WRC also saw the need to develop an easy-to-use WSP tool for municipalities. The eWQMS was selected as the platform for making the tool available. This paper presents the development of a web-enabled WSP tool on the eWQMS which ultimately will provide the information to the BDS.
Keywords: BDS, Blue Drop System, electronic Water Quality Management System, eWQMS, Water Safety Plan