Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and grey water

201704 waterJust received this in my inbox today – although the actual WHO report was written in 2006. In 2006, WHO published a third edition of its Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater in agriculture and aquaculture. Sounds nasty, but we all know this is very important! In four volumes, these Guidelines propose a flexible approach of risk assessment and risk management linked to health-based targets that can be established at a level that is realistic under local conditions. The approach is backed-up by strict monitoring measures, for example to ensure that use of these types of material does not spread intestinal parasites and diseases like cholera. This would all be of vital interest to decision makers and practitioners in all parts of Africa, including mountains and their lowlands. If we can make water stretch further, then this would definitely make for less impact on the water basins, more water for ecosystems and perhaps could make agriculture more sustainable.

The four separate Guideline volumes are:

• Volume 1: Policy and regulatory aspects
• Volume 3: Wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture
• Volume 2: Wastewater use in agriculture
• Volume 4: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture

WHO, together with FAO, IDRC, and IWMI, produced two additional information kits with targeted guidance notes, discussion papers, fact sheets, and policy briefs, to further clarify methods and procedures detailed in the guidelines. These focus on specific components of the integrated risk assessment and incremental risk management approach proposed by the Guidelines. These two sets of guidelines are:

• Using human waste safely for livelihoods, food production and health (First information kit)
• Using human waste safely for livelihoods, food production and health (Second information kit)

There is also a set of other publications relating to safe waste water use (see): http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/sanitation-waste/wastewater/wastewater-publications/en/