Water quality monitoring

How can the safety of drinking-water be monitored globally? What definitions would be meaningful and assist decision-makers in the process of improving the drinking-water situation in the world? What research and development efforts are needed to come up with a rapid, reliable and cost-effective way of measuring water quality indicators locally and reporting on them at the global level. To address these questions, the JMP has commissioned a Task Force on Water Quality Monitoring

Since the decision in 2000 to adopt a method based on nationally representative household surveys, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) has explored options to report on the safety of drinking-water supplies. This is one of the three methods suggested by the JMP Task Force on Water Quality Monitoring in 2010 and revisited again by the second Task Force in 2013. Related to this, recently JMP has been collaborating with various large scale household surveys, i.e. Demographic and Health Surveys (Liberia for example), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (Bangladesh 2009, 2013, Nepal 2013), and Living Standards Measurement Studies (LSMS successor in Ghana). 

Related to the second method, between 2002 and 2008 the rapid assessment of drinking-water quality (RADWQ) project was designed, implemented and documented in a number of pilot countries where the quality of drinking-water from improved sources was evaluated.

Following analysis, review and consolidation of the RADWQ findings, thus far available in the pilot countries only, WHO and UNICEF are now publishing the RADWQ products. The complete set of RADWQ products will inform the work of the JMP Task Force on Drinking-water Quality Monitoring in its debate over the post-2015 drinking-water targets and indicators.

RADWQ pilot country reports:


RADWQ Handbook:

The JMP convened in June 18-19 2012 in Geneva a meeting of experts to review sampling issues in tools for water quality monitoring, which also covered a review of RADWQ Handbook regarding the samplies issues. According to the recommednations of this meeting, RADWQ Method Handbook version 1 has been finalized, while version 2, which will address sampling issues to make RADWQ nationally representative will be available soon.