Main authors: Cors van den Brink, Sarah Zernitz, Alma de Vries
Editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: »van den Brink, C. et al. (2021) Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Water Safety Plans. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 2.4, 97 pp


One of FAIRWAY's research topics is Water Safety Planning for adequate drinking water protection for small and large supplies. Our aim is to stimulate the improvement of drinking water safety across the European Union by sharing context, best practices and lessons learned on Water Safety Planning for both small and large water supplies (see »Lessons learned and recommendations for Water Safety Plans).

Data and information was collected from the Arges-Vedea case study and used as described here.

Contents table
1. Survey of case studies
2. Key lessons learned

1. Survey of case studies

All 13 FAIRWAY case studies were surveyed to see whether or not a Water Safety Plan (WSP), or equivalent, is in place within their area (see »Approach and methodology).

Arges-Vedea does have a Water Safety Plan in place.

Further questions were asked to distill more details on the WSP approach: on the register of water supplies, risk assessment/risk management (RA/RM), communication and awareness, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities (see »Lessons learned and recommendations)

Arges-Vedea case study provided the following information about the local Water Safety Plan.

1.1 How is Water Safety Planning (RA/RM) organised in the case study country (regulations and responsibilities)? And are there differences in how this is organized for (very) small and large supplies?

National regulation: Law no. 458/2002 with its subsequent modifications done by Ordinance no. 22/2017 transposes the European Directive no. 83/1998 related to the quality of water for human consumption with is subsequent modifications done by the European Directive no. 1787/2015. These are mandatory for large size water supplies and is considered as good practice for small and very small water supplies.

Responsibilities: Register - country offices for public health. RA/RM - water suppliers and country offices for public health through their laboratories for water quality analyses. In case of household supply (private wells) the risk assessment is the responsibility of the owner. If there are supplies (public wells) which serve a small community, the risk assessment is the responsibility of the County office for public health together with the mayor of the village.

1.2 How is the risk assessment and risk management executed? Are there differences in how RA/RM is carried out for (very) small and large supplies?

National technical standards. It is mandatory for large size water suppliers to accomplish WSP. In case of small and very small water suppliers is considered as good practice to accomplish WSP.

1.3 How are stakeholders involved in Water Safety Planning (RA/RM)? (How) does this contribute to increased protection or support for measures? Are there differences between (very) small and large supplies?  

Water suppliers: accomplishing the RA/RM and WSP; county offices for public health: supervising the RA/RM and WSP; operators from foodstuff activity area, local medical stuff, end users: inform of any possible hazard event.

2. Key lessons learned

Key lessons learned from Arges-Vedea and all case studies are that

  1. Engagement of stakeholders is essential during all phases of RA/RM / Water Safety Planning.
  2. The designation of a process owner helps in bringing together departments and stakeholders, spreading information throughout organizations and providing congruence between different RA/RM systems.
  3. An agreed upon methodology and content enhances the effectiveness of Water Safety Planning and cooperation and communication between those involved.


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